President’s Message

Whitney Fenech, President 2021-23

Since our founding in 1931, the Junior League of Salt Lake City has been committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.

When I joined the Junior League nearly 10 years ago, I never thought president was something I’d like to do. But Junior League has a way of convincing you to do the things you never thought you could, the things that might scare you. It has a way of reminding you that “you can do hard things.” And as so many of our members will learn over the course of their League experience, doing the hard thing is what provides the catalyst for change. So many of the women who give their time to this organization will see themselves become the change makers of our community.

Our League has done so much in the nine decades – that’s four generations of women – that we have been in Salt Lake City.

Since 1931, we have been part of 78 projects and organizations in Salt Lake County. Some of those organizations include YWCA, Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Wheeler Farm, Ronald McDonald House, Rape Recovery Center, Children’s Justice Center, and the Utah AIDS Foundation. Our participation in these 78 programs ranged from providing funding to volunteer hours to creating the programs and building them into sustainable community services.
Perhaps the programs we are most known for now are the Community Assistance Resource Event, or CARE Fair which is held over two days each July, and Women Helping Women, a clothing store that grew from a literal closet that could serve one client at a time to a full boutique that can serve upwards of 30 women at once.

Through CARE Fair, the Junior League has provided free medical and dental services to the community for 30 years. On average, our volunteer doctors and dentists see between 2,000 and 3,000 patients in just those two days. Accounting for two years of missed fairs due to COVID, our CARE Fair volunteers have served approximately 85,000 individuals since the project’s inception in 1992.

In 2019, our last traditional CARE Fair before COVID, our volunteers provided 3,743 medical and dental services and gave out 600 bike helmets and 282 car seats – all free of charge. This one event clocked in at 599 volunteer hours.

At Women Helping Women, Junior League members have been providing clothing, undergarments, shoes, toiletries, and beauty and hair essentials to underprivileged women for 26 years. Ninety percent of our clients report an annual household income of less than $20,000. We serve an average of 900 women per year totaling nearly 24,000 women since 1996. That’s over 256,000 items of clothing given away.

And with the continued support of this great community, there is no limit to what we will continue to do.

There are many ways you can support the work of the Junior League of Salt Lake City and I invite you to get involved in a way that is meaningful to you:

  • Become a Friend of the League through a monetary donation of any amount;
  • Become a community partner through one of our existing projects; by sponsoring an event; or requesting volunteer support through our community outreach initiative;
  • Become of member of the JLSLC.

Currently, the women of the Junior League of Salt Lake City spend nearly 14,000 hours volunteering each year. Over 90 years, that totals 1.2 million hours of service to the Salt Lake community. For over 90 years we have shown this community what women can do. And as far as we’re concerned, we’ve only just begun.

Your support ensures that we can continue our mission for another 90 years. We are determined. We are change makers. We are better together!

So, here’s to 1 million more hours and 90 more years of leading meaningful change in our community.

In gratitude,

Whitney Fenech
President 2021-2023
Junior League of Salt Lake City