Chapter News

April 2017 Newsletter

Well, so much for finding balance in my life - this year is off to a fast start!

It seems like I just threw out the Christmas tree and Easter is just around the corner!! Things have been going fast and furious for San Antonio Junior Forum these past 3 months. Liz Fox and her committee finished delivering grants checks to all our wonderful and deserving recipients and we jumped right into Scholarships.  What a great group of applicants we had this year!  Tina Sullivan and the scholarship committee had their work cut out for them but managed to select 5 impressive young students from a sizeable pool of standouts.

In February, we also had our JFI retreat in Nacogdoches and had a record breaking 12 members attend! I heard (from my sickbed in the hotel) that everyone had a wonderful time and our own Karen Schmidt won 1st place for best hat in the Kentucky Derby Hat contest! We returned with lots of ideas for our Convention in 2018 and have our venue at the Omni La Mansion secured for Feb 24th and 25th. Congratulations to Tina Sullivan, who has taken over the position of Convention Chair or Convention Project Manager, as she prefers. She will be looking for support from all of us and I’m sure she won’t be left wanting! 

After much talk and consideration, the membership decided that money spent on maintaining an office would be better spent on our community, soooo we are moving out of our office! Although, it has been a lot of work to get things packed, I think everyone is really excited about the opportunities this will give us to expand our service projects and better serve those in need. A committee has been appointed to determine where our future meetings will be so if you have some ideas, please share them with committee members, Liz Fox, Tina Sullivan and Sharon Smith. 

I’m just getting started with all that we have accomplished so far this year. We also have nominated a new Board for the 2017-18 club year! Congratulations to:

  • President – Joanne Gamez
  • VP Service – Andrea Ruhl
  • VP Membership – Deleyce Tietze
  • VP Grants – Liz Fox
  • VP Scholarships – Tina Sullivan
  • VP Communications – Diana Stoeltje
  • VP Fundraising – Andrea Ruhl
  • Secretary – Cathy Raley
  • Treasurer – Sharon Smith
  • Parliamentarian – Sylvia Rendon

Ladies, thank you all for taking on this additional, but very important responsibility.  

Still more congratulations to come! Sharon Smith, our amazing VP of Membership and brownie maker extraordinaire, was nominated for 2016-17 Woman of the Year. She has gained the respect and admiration of our entire membership and we are so honored to have her as part of our group. Congratulations, Sharon!

We still have so much happening before the end of this club year! Please sign up for the last few service events of the year and make plans to attend our April meeting, location to be announced soon. Our April meeting will precede a very special evening in honor of our scholarship recipients and their families. We will end our 2016-2017 club year with a farewell to our current Board, the induction of our new Board of Directors and special recognition of our Woman of the Year. Let’s celebrate these moments together!

Diana Stoeltje, SAJF President

After reviewing 25 scholarship applications through the Minnie Stevens Piper Clearinghouse on February 10, the scholarship committee interviewed 10 candidates on February 16. The following students are recipients of the SAJF 2017/2018 scholarships.

Click here to view the 2017 SAJF Scholarship Recipients >

Tina Sullivan, VP Scholarships


JFI Retreat, Service Hours & Consignment

Click here to see the Retreat Photo Album >

Wasn't that a great retreat? Everyone donned their finest Kentucky Derby hats and frocks for the party, and SAJF took home the trifecta in wins with a Win/Place/Show in all 3 contests!  Karen Schmidt was crowned First with her beautiful hat in the Best Hat contest, Sylvia Rendon, Jeanette Lawrence, and Melanie Cawthon were seen bustin' some moves in the horse race and came in Second by a nose, and Andrea Ruhl showed with a Third place ribbon for best costume. Melanie, Andrea, and Diana garnered some valuable information at the JFI Board Meeting. Lastly, the Sunday breakfast buffet and speaker were great.  All attendees departed and returned home safely.

Our Biscotti Basket sold for almost $300.00! Our grateful thanks to Pam Lemons who "seeded" the idea with her generous donation of a beautiful porcelain biscotti jar. And a special thanks to those who donated items, donated money, and assisted with putting the basket together. Now off to the 2018 SAJF Convention on the beautiful San Antonio Riverwalk!

Speaking of JFI, it's that time of year when I start bugging you to submit your personal hours to the website. For recording purposes, there are only 3 types of hours; service hours (those hours spent on a service project), fundraiser hours (ANY hours spent on ANY fundraising project), and administrative hours (everything else).

This month I'll address administrative hours. Did you make a soup or snack for a meeting? Did you shop for ingredients? Did you help pack the office? Did you shop for decorations or items for a meeting?  Did you serve on a committee for scholarships or grants? Did you deliver grant checks? Did you attend the Retreat? Did you write a Newsletter article? All of those hours count as Admin hours. Here's a reminder lesson on how to enter those hours:

Step 1:  you must be able to access the SAJF website.  If you cannot, contact Diana Stoeltje.
Step 2:  log into the SAJF website .
Step 3:  in the top right corner, click on "Member Login"
Step 4:  you should see a page with your name.  Click on "My Profile "
Step 5:  about half-way down, find "Shifts/Hours". Click on that.
Step 6:  Scroll down to the bottom of the page.  Click on "Submit Hours"
Step 7:  a calendar will appear with today's date highlighted.  You can move back to any actual date.  Click on that date.  Under Activity, write what you did (packed office)
Step 8:  in the next box, drop down and find the number of hours (for example, 3).  Look to the right of that box for minutes (for example - 30).  Add those hours and minutes and click "done".
Step 9 :  click "Submit Hours"

Easy-peasy, or proceed to Step 10: ASK FOR HELP IF YOU CANNOT GET YOUR HOURS SUBMITTED.

CONSIGNMENT: We continue to receive generous checks for our consigned items. But, I am TOTALLY OUT of the following items: children's clothes, scarves, hats, belts, and shoes (men's, women's, children's). I am VERY LOW on men's and women's spring/summer clothes, and costume jewelry. Due to the Office closure, I have plenty "stuff".

Andrea Ruhl, JFI Rep, Parliamentarian & Consignment Queen

As our SAJF 2016-2017 year draws to a close, I have been thinking back about the last three years and my tenure as Membership Vice President. 

I have so enjoyed serving in this capacity, and although we haven’t grown a lot in those three years, we have gained a few wonderful new members who have made and continue to make a major contribution to our organization. And I want to thank the devoted ladies who served on my committee – most of you all three years! You have always been there when I called a meeting, when we needed food for a general membership meeting, and when we had a special membership drive event. I could not have done it without your help. 

Our latest event was Cookies with a Heart. Although we didn’t bring in any new members, those who were there had a wonderful time baking and decorating cookies. Judie Gustafson once again offered her home, and we prepared about 16 dozen cookies to donate to Fisher House. I think it is safe to say everyone there had a great time.

Happy March Birthday to Sylvia Rendon (3/20) and Deborah Beardon (3/26)! And congratulations to Sylvia on the birth of your granddaughter!

 Sharon Smith, VP Membership


Grants: With only two months remaining in the club year, it's time to start thinking of the 2017-2018 grant giving process.

On the agenda for the Committee will be a review of the grant application and instructions, uploading of application to the SAJF website, updating the nonprofit database, mailing post card reminders to nonprofits and researching other means to advertise the grant giving process at no charge to SAJF.  All this will be completed by June 1st if all goes well.

Please forward me the names of any nonprofit organization in the San Antonio region that you would like added to our grants database mailing list.

The Committee is within budget to date having donated $20,000 to 14 nonprofit organizations and having spent $116.43/$250.00 allocated for administrative expenses this year.

The following ladies are on the Grants Committee:  Liz Fox, Cathy Raley, Sharon Smith, Diana Stoeltje and Deleyce Tietze.  If you are interested in joining the Committee this year in preparation for next years grant review process, please let me know.  The more the merrier!

SAJF has received three invitations to events from our nonprofit partners:

  • Project Mend has invited members to a BBQ March 23, 2017 from 5:00-7:00 as a thank you for supporting their mission to improve the quality of life for individuals living with disabilities and illness through the reuse and distribution of medical equipment and other assistive technology.

  • Spina Bifida has invited our members to attend their FashionAble Style Show on Sunday April 2, 2017 at 1:30 pm at O’Connor High School.  Come and see how design students create functional and fashionable garments for children with physical disabilities and the boost in self-esteem those children feel cruising the runway in their new clothes

  • Restore Education has invited members to their GED graduation ceremony on Friday June 30, 2017 at San Pedro Playhouse.  Come and see how teen parents and foster youth aged 16-24 who have dropped out of high school achieve success when provided free GED to College program tutoring

The Grants Committee will reconvene in April to further our goals for the year.  Keep an eye out for an email with tentative meeting dates and times.

Finally hearty congratulations to our very own Melanie Cawthon who has been instrumental in establishing a new nonprofit organization in San Antonio.  DisABILITYsa will strive to educate, advance and engage individuals with disabilities by sharing information, creating opportunities and strengthening organizations that serve them. We look forward to receiving a grant application from this new and exciting nonprofit!

Till we meet again … 

Liz Fox, VP Grants

San Antonio Junior Forum

P.O. Box 781152
San Antonio, Texas 78278
Phone: 210-545-2187

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