A newly founded civic club has raised $10,000 to improve literacy among children in Johnston County.
The “Big Night Out” fundraiser, a gala with a beach theme, was in keeping with the mission of the Junior Women’s League of Smithfield, which is dedicated “to the betterment of all communities within Johnston County.”
The Johnston County Partnership for Children will use the money for its literacy programs.
“The Junior Women’s League has been an amazing support to the Partnership for Children this year,” said Christina Peterson, coordinator of family and community outreach for the partnership. “The funds raised from their Big Night Out event will help us to expand our early-literacy efforts throughout Johnston County. We are excited to see what the future has in store for JWL and look forward to continuing to partner with them for years to come.”
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“Big Night Out” turned the Country Club of Johnston County into a scene from Palm Beach, complete with palm trees, pineapples and flamingos. Some 350 people attended.
Jessica Davis, president of the league, said she was pleased with the fundraiser.
“The support from our communities was astounding,” she said. “Thirty-two local businesses joined forces with JWL to support early childhood literacy, and over 300 community members donated through the purchase of tickets.
“Johnston County’s commitment to ensuring that our future generations have a solid foundation in literacy is inspiring. JWL is grateful for the outpouring of support. Big Night Out was a celebration of the hard work of our members and the many successes of JWL during our first service year.”
Founded last October in Smithfield, the Junior Women’s League aims to promote volunteerism, develop the potential of women and improve the community. Members must be at least 25 years old, pay annual dues, attend monthly meetings and contribute volunteer hours to fundraisers and community projects.
The group next plans a Touch a Truck event this fall. The educational community event will provide children with a hands-on opportunity to see and touch heavy machinery and meet people who “build, protect and serve Johnston County communities.” Kids will be able to explore a fire engine, cement truck, school bus, tow truck and bulldozer, among other vehicles.
The group is accepting applications for members. For more information on the Junior Women’s League of Smithfield, go to www.jwlsmithfield.com. For more information on the Partnership for Children of Johnston County, go to www.pfcjc.org.
Abbie Bennett: 919-553-7234, Ext. 101; @AbbieRBennett