26 Mar Spotlight on Ruth E. Gardner
Think your days of being engaged in the Junior League are over now that you’ve gone sustaining? All you have to do is look to Ruth E. Gardner’s example to see that simply isn’t true. As an Active member of 14 years, Ruth E. served the League for a majority of her active years on both the Board of Directors and Executive Committee; chairing all of our fundraisers including Follies, along with several internal committees including the Nominating and Placement committee when it was an additional honorary placement, culminating with being the JLGL President from 2002-2003. The leadership training program she created during her President-Elect year achieved recognition from AJLI and in turn yielded funding for education and training. After such an involved active membership, Ruth E. didn’t view sustaining membership as Junior League retirement.
“I felt it prudent to continue to serve my beloved Junior League as I had amassed vast knowledge of not only our League but our AJLI as well. However, at the same time I wanted to step aside to make way for the up and coming leaders to pioneer their trails. Both Brittany Sale and Stephanie Madden were the incoming leadership, and I had the privilege of serving with both of them for many years and witnessed first hand their amazing leadership. I knew our JL was in more than capable hands. I knew I could transition into Sustainer’hood’ to continue to be viable to our organization,” explains Ruth E. Rather than waiting around to be asked, Ruth E. jumped right in offering to provide support, and her offer has been accepted these past 15 years!
As a sustainer, Ruth continues to provide her mentoring and wisdom in the areas of leadership training as well as making sure our annual Spring Sustainer Meetings and Actives Meetings contain all the necessary pomp and circumstance elements (e.g. the appropriate language and manner to induct our new leadership and ensuring gavels are presented to the incoming Sustaining Advisor and President). As you can see, you can pick and choose the years you want to be more engaged and the ways you want to contribute. Getting involved is easy! Fill out the Sustainer Willingness to Serve Survey. The League will match your interests and availability with the organization’s needs. Like Ruth E., you’ll come to appreciate the continued opportunities for service and friendship.