The founding members saw a need in our community; they searched for an answer to those needs. The answer to those needs was to form the Western Reserve Junior Service League.
As demands for support have increased, Service League has grown and evolved to meet the changing needs of our community. This growth has been possible because of the strength of our members and the commitment to help others. While the original membership was comprised of mostly stay-at-home moms, the majority of the current membership have full-time jobs as well as family responsibilities, but just as our fore-mothers, we remain eager to support and improve the social, cultural and educational needs of our community.
Service League’s first project was Sheltered Industries in Mentor which grew into the Lake County Board of Development Disabilities/Deepwood complex.
Service League’s second project was the Children’s Theater at Lake Erie College. Later projects included the Volunteer Bureau, the Lake County Transportation Service and an arts council.
Later, instead of organizing projects, Service League established a Community Research Committee to investigate the needs of existing agencies. To date the grant program has funded over $1,490,828 from Service League’s fundraising activities. The Free Clinic, the Society for Rehabilitation, Laketran, Rabbit Run Theater and WomenSafe are just a few of the agencies which have received funds for special equipment, computers, furniture, security and many more items and programs needed to improve our community.
While the community benefits greatly from Service League, our members also benefit from their involvement with the League. Members find the volunteer aspect of membership educational and rewarding. They spend their hours at a variety of agencies, working with the elderly, homeless, disabled and children, as well as supporting art, culture and education in the Western Reserve area. By volunteering, the women are able to share their individual talents and provide much needed help to the various agencies Service League supports.
All members serve on Service League’s committees. Here they develop organizational and leadership skills and many women go on to serve on the Boards of Trustees of various agencies. This leads to great personal growth, which members take to their career, their family life, and their volunteer positions.
The members create friendships that last for years. A friendship that continues even after members go sustaining.
Our Founding Members:
Sue Ellis, Julie Siegel and Pat Dean
- 2014 – Laketran’s Grand Visionary Award. Given in recognition of community leadership to those who have helped to shape Laketran.
- 2010 – Deepwood Foundation’s Organization of the Year.
- 2008 – Painesville Area Chamber of Commerce 2008 Outstanding Non-Profit Organization of the Year.
- 2007 – Lifeline Community Spirit Award.
- 2003 – Mentor Chamber of Commerce Organization of the Year.
- 2001 – New Directions for Living named Service League “Group of the Year”. Service League was very instrumental in helping New Directions become an approved United Way agency. Service League has also organized their clothing boutique for women clients and granted funds for facility safety.
- 1999 — Service League was voted “Organization of the Year” — by the Society for Rehabilitation.