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JLD celebrates is 100th anniversary

JLD's Centennial Scholarship program awards scholarships to 100 graduating seniors in Wayne County. photo by Renee Landuyt.

January 23, 2014
The Junior League of Detroit begins a yearlong celebration of its 100 years of service to the community in January.

Founded in 1914, JLD has continuously focused its charitable efforts on improving opportunities for the people of the greater Detroit community.

The JLD has several public initiatives planned to mark the centennial celebration, beginning with the Centennial Scholarship program, awarding 100 scholarships to graduating high school seniors, each valued at $1,000. To be eligible, a student must live in Wayne County or attend a Wayne County school and must plan on continuing their education at a college or vocational school. A minimum 2.5 grade point is required and students must show a commitment to volunteerism outside school.

Scholarship applications are due Feb. 1. Applications and more information can be found at jldetroit.org. Scholarship recipients will be honored in a Tuesday, May 13, ceremony at the Detroit Public Library main branch.

The organization also presents an exhibit at the Detroit Historical Museum from July through September. It highlights the organization's 100-year history and focuses on its projects and partnerships.

In May, the JLD hosts the 20th biennial Designers' Show House at 1007 Bishop, Grosse Pointe Park. The show house is traditionally the JLD's largest fundraiser. Funds raised benefit the JLD's many community programs, including the Centennial Scholarship program.

"We are excited to celebrate our century of service with both our membership and the greater Detroit community," said JLD president Cristina Garberding. "For 100 years, the women of the JLD have been working tirelessly to serve Detroit and its families and we are already looking forward to the next 100 years."

Since its establishment in 1914, the JLD has worked to provide educational, cultural, recreational and healthy opportunities for the greater Detroit community. Its past projects include establishing the Detroit League for the Handicapped, now known as Adult Well-Being Services, opening the Training Cottage for Blind Children with Helen Keller, helping to establish WTVS-TV and building the playscape and sensory trail on Belle Isle.

In 1995, the JLD elected to focus its resources solely on children. Projects since then have included the establishment of the pediatric mobile team with Children's Hospital of Michigan, a partnership with Cornerstone Schools and the establishment of the a new learning center at the Montieth branch of the Detroit Public Library.

Most recently, the JLD focused its projects and partnerships on health and nutrition for children and their families. In its newest partnership with Humble Design, a local non-profit, the JLD will outfit kitchens with essentials such as small appliances, pots and pans, and utensils, for families who need assistance. The JLD continues to host Kids in the Kitchen, an interactive and educational cooking class for young people.

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