Daily Point of Light # 3114 Jan 11, 2006

Since 1926, The Junior League of Montgomery (JLM) has been committed to promoting volunteerism and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. The JLM consists of nearly 1000 women, 25 years and older, who donate an average of 20,000 hours of service to their community annually.

Over the past two years, the JLM spent hours of extensive research to incorporate their purpose as an educational and charitable organization into a Signature Project that would have a lasting and positive impact on the community. After months of study and brainstorming, the JLM chose the construction of a “Discovery Village” which would be a hands-on interactive, science-theme playground that stimulates, educates and entertains children in Montgomery and the River Region as their Signature Project. The JLM would engage the services of an architectural firm from New York, purchase the land, and partner with the City, local businesses and thousands of volunteers to bring this project to reality.

On October 12, 2004 architects and JLM representatives met with children at local elementary schools to gather ideas for the design. Once blueprints were complete, preparations began, PSA’s were written, television spots developed and volunteers recruited. With an estimate of 2,800 volunteers needed to complete the playground, the JLM began to recruit business partners and volunteers from all walks of life. In excess of 118 local churches, nonprofit organizations, schools, colleges and businesses partnered with the League to support this mammoth undertaking. National organizations with a local presence supporting the project included Home Depot, Charter Communications, Cracker Barrel, Wendy’s, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Wal-Mart, Nextel, and Aqua Springs just to name a few. Thousands of multi-generation volunteers, individuals and families alike, participated in the scheduled nine-day build from April 21, 2005 to May 1, 2005 to complete the playground, from the ground up. Children as young as 10 worked with their parents/guardian, making the age range of volunteers 10 to 80 years’ young. Children under the age of 10 were able to attend the “free” on-site daycare service provided by the JLM and volunteers, making this event a true family adventure.

During 2005, League members found time to volunteer additional countless hours to numerous agencies and important causes in the River Region. League members promote and participate in areas, some which include parenting skills, health and well-being, early childhood prevention, life skills development, domestic violence, education and children and youth.

The JLM continually works to improve the lives of others. Proceeds raised annually support their work in the community through projects that improve the quality of life for families and children. The JLM’s Signature Project, Discovery Village Playscape, imagined by children and built by the community, provides the City of Montgomery with a lasting and positive impact. Due to the efforts of this remarkable group of local women joining forces with the common interest of making a difference in the lives of others, they have been nominated for numerous awards.