League Lines – Fall 2021

 

It is with great humility that I write this letter to you as the President of the Junior League of Tyler. Every year, I always look forward to the first issue of League Lines. It means that summertime is here, and we are gearing up for an exciting year ahead. Our trained volunteers are already hard at work implementing their plans for our projects, volunteering with our partner agencies, and serving our community. Everything we do in the Junior League of Tyler revolves around our amazing members. They tirelessly serve in our community, not only through the Junior League of Tyler, but also in leadership roles and on the boards of nonprofits throughout Tyler and Smith County. Our members love our community and deeply care about helping in any way that they can. I want to give a big THANK YOU to each and every one of these amazing ladies. It is a privilege to serve alongside you!
This issue of League Lines showcases our new layout, including a fully digitized and interactive interface. We chose to make these updates in hopes that navigation will be easier so that you can easily find the information you need as well as spotlighting our agencies, community, and projects. Some of the highlights of this issue include information on our upcoming Grant Application, our 2021 Award and Scholarship recipients, as well as information on our partnership with TISD’s Literacy Bus.
My prayer is that our theme for the year, “Moving Forward Together”, will resonate through everything that we do. Being a part of the Junior League of Tyler has been the most rewarding experience in my life, and I have missed the togetherness that we were unable to have over the past year. I look forward to being able to engage more with our members and the community in person! Thank you for your support and your willingness to make our community even better!

Let’s Serve Together!


Holli Glass Shull – 2021-2022 Jr. League President

 

 

The Junior League of Tyler is proud to present $165,545 in community grants to our local community in Tyler and Smith County. Each year, the Junior League of Tyler donates directly to our community through a funding process as well as member volunteer hours. 18 organizations were supported through this year’s grant funding process. Grant recipients must be registered nonprofit organizations serving Smith County – a link to the Grant Application can be found here. Grant applications are due by Sept. 1, 2021 for funding in the 2022-2023 cycle.

 

Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to our Tyler Junior College scholarship recipients of the Junior League of Tyler’s Women’s Scholarship Endowment: Tonya Wright of Arp, TX, studying Healthcare Technology and Lerkeysher Horton of Tyler, TX, studying Healthcare Technology.

Congratulations to the two Beverly Beaird Young Scholarship recipients, Haley Linscott and Karlie Lowe. The Beverly Beaird Young Scholarship is designed for a Senior in Smith County who demonstrates excellence in and has commitment to voluntarism, exhibits innovation and creative actions that reach out and motivate others, and indicates a commitment to continuing her education.

Haley Linscott – Haley is a creative student ranked in the top of her graduating class of Whitehouse High School. Haley “aspires to one day spark inspiration in an audience with my movies and novels, as a professional storyteller.” She has volunteered at Pets Fur People and helped create a volunteer orientation video to aid in volunteer training. Haley will begin her college career at the University of Texas at Austin this fall.

Karlie Lowe – Karlie has spent most of her teen years volunteering in a variety of areas. She has been very involved with the Bullard FFA and recently graduated from Bullard High School. Karlie plans to attend Texas A&M University, seeking a degree in Animal Science with a minor in Agriculture Communications. Karlie dreams of becoming a veterinarian and wants to be an advocate for agriculture and work with animals.

 

Mahala Young Active Volunteer of the Year Award

Congratulations to Gina Moers, the Mahala Young Active Volunteer of the Year Award winner. The Mahala Young award is given to an active Junior League member who has gone above and beyond over the last year and throughout her league career. Mahala Young was a former active member of the Junior League of Tyler who lived with a passion for voluntarism; this award is given in honor of her memory.

How long have you been a member of the Junior League of Tyler and what do you love most about it?
My provisional year was 2010-2011, so this is my 10th active year. I love the impact the Junior League has on our community. There is no other organization in our community that always sends trained volunteers along with grant money to the community.
What placements & positions have you held in the Junior League?
My placements have been all over the map! I have served at Christian Women’s Job Corps, volunteered for and chaired Girl Power, served as the Social Media manager, Placement Advisor, Provisional Committee Member, Asst. Membership VP, Membership VP, Mistletoe and Magic and now am serving as Administrative Vice President.
Tell us about yourself.
I have been married to my husband, Andy, since 2005. We have two boys – Sully (6) and Spencer (2) – and our original child, our fur baby Finley, who is 13. I own and operate Relevance Marketing Agency, which I founded 12 years ago. My company offers marketing consulting services, as well as promotional items, and much more – basically anything pertaining to marketing, I do it! I am a first-generation college graduate with a BBA in Marketing and also an MBA. I love to travel, craft and spend time outdoors!
How did you feel when you found out you had won the Mahala award for this year?
Completely shocked! I have seen women earn this honor year after year, and never, not for one second, thought it would be me. I am so completely honored to have joined the list of amazing women that have gone before me as Mahala award recipients.
What does voluntarism mean to you?
I was always taught to leave something better than you found it. For me, this goes for my community as well. If I am going to live and raise a family in a community, I feel a strong sense of obligation to contribute to the betterment of that community. Volunteering in my community is my way of contributing to leaving it better than I found it.
How do you balance your League life with your everyday life (family, work, etc.)?
Lists! Anyone who knows me, knows that I operate out of a paper planner, or my “brain” as I like to call it. As a mom of two who works full-time and volunteers, it’s important to be organized. I don’t really believe there’s a perfect balance, but I do my best to make the most of each day. The lists help me to fulfill my commitments to the best of my ability at all times. I also involve my family in my League Life whenever possible.
How has the League changed or affected your life?
I am forever changed because of the friends I have made and the skills I have acquired though my time in the Junior League. I have made lifelong friendships in the Junior League, ladies whom I would not have met otherwise. I have also gained a great deal of knowledge about my community and become a trained volunteer.
What is the greatest thing the League has taught you?
There’s nothing perhaps more unstoppable than a group of women all working toward a common goal of serving their community.
What is your fondest League memory?
The year I chaired Girl Power – we had hundreds of sixth grade girls at our event. In that one morning, we were able to impact each and every girl there by teaching them things to carry with them for the rest of their lives. To witness a sea of “lightbulb” moments all morning in those young girls will forever stick with me.
How has the League impacted your family?
Early in my league career, before I had children, a fellow member told me that when she leaves for a league commitment, she tells her children that she’s going to help people. Not that she has to go to a league commitment. Now when I leave for Junior League commitments, I say the same thing, “Mommy is going to help people.” My sons know that I help people regularly through my service to the Junior League of Tyler. I pray this simple change in verbiage will forever impact them, and help them to understand that there’s always someone we can help. I want them to see the world through the lens of others.

 

Gertrude Windsor Sustainer of the Year Award

Congratulations to Andy Wells, the Gertrude Windsor Sustainer of the Year Award winner. The Gertrude Windsor award is given to a current sustainer of the Junior League of Tyler, who continues to display a passion for voluntarism after her active years in the league. Gertrude Windsor was a strong supporter of the Junior League of Tyler and worked to improve our East Texas community; this award is given in her memory.

How long have you been a Junior League member and what do you love most about it?
I joined the league in May of 1996 as a provisional and have been a member since that time. I love the way our league gives back to the community. I have always been inspired by the things in this community that were started or funded by the league. It makes me proud when I know someone who is directly benefiting from one of these organizations.
What placements & positions have you held in the Junior League?
My first placement in the league was on the Summer Reading Camp Committee. I served as a priority group chair, PR Chair, Community VP, League Lines Editor, Mistletoe and Magic Chair, several other board positions and President.
Tell us about yourself.
I am married to my high school sweetheart, Mark Wells, and we have three children, and a new son in law: Hadlee and Robert Sawler, Dylan Dixon and Brayden Wells. We own a metal recycling business that was started by my family. Mark, Dylan, and myself work together in the business. Our children have all attended Grace Community School and we attend Grace Community Church.
How did you feel when you found out you had won the Gertrude award for this year?
So humbled! This award has been given to so many very deserving women, and I just couldn’t believe that it was being given to me!
What does voluntarism mean to you?
Voluntarism is living outside yourself and giving back to someone else. We should all volunteer because everyone has something to give. God gives us all talents and resources. These talents and resources are not ours to hoard, but are to be put into service for His kingdom and the communities He has placed us in.
How did you balance your League life with your everyday life (family, work, etc.)?
Time management! Family is always my first priority, but you can make it all work. Just plan out your time, and you can fit it all in. If you have a conflict, just be honest with yourself and others early on. That way, everyone can work around it.
How has the League changed or affected your life?
I can’t put on paper all the ways the league has changed my life. Not only has the league taught me about voluntarism, organization, and time management, but it has given me the best of friends! The league has given me the opportunity to volunteer in other organizations that were otherwise unknown to me. The Junior League has provided me with many opportunities and training. I’ve been able to carry those skills to other volunteer opportunities as well as apply them to my life in general.
What is the greatest thing the League has taught you?
There is always someone who needs to be served!
What is your fondest League memory?
I loved the hours I spent at Harvey Hall during many years of Mistletoe and Magic. They were long and we were tired, but it was the largest block of time that we got to spend together. We laughed, we cried, and we celebrated when it was over each year. I went back and looked at a memory I have shared in the past – Past President Leann Strnadel and I had to arrive at Harvey Hall at 4:30 a.m. the day after the preview party to do a media interview. Although I am an early riser, that was a little bit earlier than usual, and I recall returning to the Junior League Hospitality room, covering up with tablecloths and taking a quick nap before that day’s brunch!
How has the League impacted your family?
When your family sees you giving of your time to help others, you are training up another generation of volunteers. My family knows the value of giving back and they learned that from watching all of us through my years serving in the Junior League.

Summer Reading Camp (SRC) will not take place as usual this year. Instead, the Junior League of Tyler will be hosting book drives throughout the year, managed by our SRC volunteers. The TISD Literacy Bus is an interactive bus that will travel to neighborhoods throughout the Tyler ISD community to help ensure every child has access to high-quality books and resources during the summer months and year-round. Our goal is to help support the TISD Literacy Bus within the means of our SRC mission – getting books into the hands of young children in our community.
We will work with the Literacy Bus to expand access through Junior League of Tyler Lending Libraries to reach as many neighborhoods and community areas that may not be accessed through the Literacy Bus. Our main focus is on areas where children may not have easy access to the bus/library and specifically reach children who do not have daily access to books in their homes.
The Junior League of Tyler will donate books directly to TISD teachers for students to have the ability to take selected books home for reading. Each TISD elementary campus and Public Libraries will receive complementary copies of Good Night Rose City. Look for a fun Junior League of Tyler sticker to identify our donated books!
As the holiday season approaches, the Junior League of Tyler is already making plans to get even more books into the hands of children. We will work with the St. Paul Children’s Foundation to provide up to 5 books to go along with handmade bookshelves that are donated each year. Our goal is to continuously promote reading at home!
The Summer Reading Camp committee has collected over 2,500 books to be donated to the TISD Literacy Bus program this year. We can’t wait to see the Literacy Bus out serving our community!