Chapel Hill: Opinion

Developing the potential of women with the Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties

Many of you may know the Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties by our longstanding Bargain Sale fundraiser (77 years to be exact!), or you have visited the Museum of Life and Science’s Investigate Health! exhibit we funded.

Maybe you are familiar with Welcome Baby, an initiative launched by the junior league that is now a standalone organization serving mothers and children in need.

As exciting as these initiatives are, we hope you will also recognize the junior league for our commitment to developing the potential of women in our community. Personal and professional development is an important aspect of our mission, as it is an investment in our members, and ultimately our future community leaders.

Our membership is composed of passionate women from varied backgrounds, each contributing unique skills and talents to our community. We aim to foster these passions and talents by plugging members into resources to help them grow and expand their skills.

This year we introduced POWER (Providing Ourselves With Empowering Relationships). This program is an opportunity for junior league members who share similar professional, personal and/or community interests to be paired together.

POWER goes beyond the traditional “mentor/mentee” model and expands to a two-way relationship for both members to learn from each other, and ultimately promote personal growth. Our goal is for these partnerships to tie back into the junior league, as participants bring what they have learned from these new relationships into our community programs and future development of the junior league.

Created and launched by a junior league member in 2015, Leading Ladies is a series of inspirational and professional speaking events and training opportunities enabling our members to become strong leaders. We recently hosted local author and motivational speaker Lynette Lewis, who offered practical strategies and tips to help women achieve their goals by finding the right mentors, navigating difficult people and situations and enduring through difficult seasons.

Leading Ladies organized a networking workshop for members to learn how they can leverage social media to find new professional opportunities. A former LinkedIn executive local to the area shared her social networking expertise by offering insight on the etiquette and strategy for building connections. Members learned how they can improve their profiles, how to get past the anxiety of making new connections and how to find new opportunities within their networks.

We are very proud of the legacies of Bargain Sale, the Investigate Health! Exhibit, Welcome Baby and many other Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties initiatives, but these community strongholds would not be possible without the women leaders behind them. We believe giving our members the tools they need to succeed both personally and professionally impacts our community as these women go out to serve our communities, schools and neighbors.

To learn more about the JLDOC and how you can be involved, please visit our website at

Coming up

The Junior League of Durham and Orange Counties will hold its Spring Tee + Tour fundraiser at Croasdaile Country Club on Thursday, April 20, and Saturday, 22.

The weekend of events kicks off on Thursday with a charity golf tournament followed by a cocktail party and ends on Saturday with a historic home tour. The money raised from these events directly supports the junior league’s mission to promote voluntarism, develop the potential of women and improve the communities of Durham and Orange Counties. All events are open to the public.

The charity golf tournament will feature a 1 p.m. shotgun start with a Captain’s Choice format, along with complimentary driving range access, lunch and a VIP swag bag. Registration is $500 for a team of four or $250 for a team of two. Following the golf tournament, there will be a cocktail party to celebrate the 2017 Spring Tee & Tour. The party will begin at 6 p.m. and guests will enjoy a variety of local hors d’oeuvres and libations along with a raffle featuring one-of-a-kind prizes. Ticket are $35 per person.

The third and final Spring Tee + Tour event is the ninth annual home tour on Sunday – previously known as Home Roam. The self-guided tour through the historic Croasdaile neighborhood will showcase innovative designs, thoughtful renovations, custom details and impeccable decorating. Each home also features local food and beverage vendors. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.

To participate in any or all of these events and support the JLDOC, please visit