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Junior League celebrates 75th year

By Sonny Long
May 6, 2013 at 12:06 a.m.

The historic O'Connor-Proctor building, home of the Junior League of Victoria, is also available for rental.

The League's Building

The Junior League of Victoria calls the historic O'Connor-Proctor Building, 202 N. Main St., home. The Romanesque Revival structure was built in 1895. The building is a Registered Texas Historic Landmark (1980) and was entered in the National Register of Historic Places in December 1986. In 1982, the building received the Victoria Preservation Inc.'s first Rehabilitation Award. The building is available to rent for functions. Call 361-573-4508 for availability and rates.

The Junior League of Victoria celebrates 75 years of service Tuesday night with its annual dinner at the Victoria Country Club.

"Ours is a league of women truly committed to volunteerism, developing the potential of women and dedicated to improving our community," said League President Lynn Gisler.

In 2012-13, the Junior League of Victoria focused its volunteerism in four areas: Court Appointed Special Advocates, Blessings in a Backpack, Devereux and Sure B.E.T.

Members logged more than 2,200 volunteer hours with these and other nonprofit organizations and distributed $18,807 in community assistance funds, said Michelle Hall, League spokeswoman.

President-elect April Nunley said the Junior League will continue its volunteer efforts in the coming year.

"We are enthusiastic about entering this new phase of targeted volunteerism," she said.

"As we develop our new outreach programs, our ultimate goal is to create meaningful change with a connection to the concerns and well-being of the community."

Established in Victoria in 1937 with an original focus of child welfare and providing volunteer service for the betterment of the community's children, during its early years, the League subsidized and furnished volunteer assistance for the Victoria County Child Welfare Program, according to the organization's website.

During World War II, the League concentrated on assisting with the war effort.

After the war, the League was once again able to concentrate on the needs of the community's children.

In the years that followed, it was instrumental in establishing, funding and providing volunteer service for numerous projects which served the medical, educational and emotional needs of children.

In more recent years, the League has expanded its focus areas to include educationally at-risk youth, the environment and health and wellness.

The League's efforts are becoming even more focused.

"Our members just voted to select one specific issue to be the League's focus, which I am excited to unveil at the annual dinner," said Sara Hounshell, community vice president.

"The League will address this issue through volunteer projects, advocacy, member education, public service announcements, partnerships with other organizations and grants specifically tailored to the issue."

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