Our History

In 1948, thirty dedicated women joined together to form the Junior Welfare League of Florence. The charter members formed the league to develop interest in the social, economic, educational, cultural and civic conditions of the Florence community, and to enable the members to serve the community as effective volunteers.

Since the charter of the league in 1948, more than three hundred women have served as a Junior League of Florence member to make a difference in our community.

Today, the league has fifty active members and a dedicated group of forty sustainer members.

Our History

  • During the first forty years, the Junior Welfare League was involved in a wide variety of community services as volunteers within agencies, but also as initiators of programs when needs were identified. One of the earliest projects was the opening of a day nursery in 1949 following the Junior Welfare League's first successful fund-raiser, a follies. The Day Nursery was operated and funded by the League until 1965, and the property has since become the Mumford G. Fuller Center for preschoolers funded by the Mental Retardation Board. Funds for the annual operation of the Day Nursery were secured by The League's canteen at the McLeod Infirmary.

    In 1968, the canteen at McLeod was closed but League members were soon in business again, opening a canteen and gift shop at Florence General Hospital in 1972. However, the canteen was only one of the League's many fund-raising projects, with Follies productions in 1951, 1954, 1960, 1968, 1977, 1982, 1987, 1993, and 1998. In addition, the Junior League has published three cookbooks -- The Mixing Bowl (published in 1950); One Hundred Years of Cooking (published in 1970); Stir Crazy (published in 1986).

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  • In 1989, the League began a project to restore the J. R. Levy House. Built in 1894, the Levy House was the home of the first African American physician in Florence. The house was moved to its new location on Griffin and Day Streets on the McLeod Regional Medical Center Campus on March 23, 1991. On September 15, 1982 the League and the community celebrated the Levy House Grand Opening. The house was used for various League and other community boards and committees, serving as the League's Headquarters until 1996.

    For the first 41 years, the Junior League grew in size and concept. League members always wanted to be affiliated with the Association of Junior Leagues International (AJLI) and was, on October 29, 1989, officially accepted as part of the AJLI and changed its name to The Junior League of Florence, Inc.

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  • As we embarked on a new millennium the 1999-2000 year saw many changes to our League. The League held its inaugural Merry Marketplace, A Holiday Shopping Extravaganza. This project raised over $30,000 in its first year for our organization's projects and programs. These funds helped support the two new projects adopted by the League to better service the Pee Dee area-- The House of Hope Lifeskills Program and ScienceSouth. The Lifeskills Program begun in the fall of 2000 and services the homeless women and children of our community.The League also committed $100,000 over the next 5 years toward the development of an interactive learning center called ScienceSouth.

    During the 2001-2002 year, we celebrated the centennial year of The Association of Junior Leagues' International with a visit from the AJLI president, Deborah Brittain. Merry Marketplace, along with the development campaign, continued as the primary fundraisers for the League. The League also made its second contribution of $20,000 to ScienceSouth. The Lifeskills program...

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  • Merry Marketplace
    Lucky Shamrock
    Touch A Truck
    Partnership with Habitat for Humanity
    Provisional projects - 5K Run?
  • 1948 - 1988
  • 1989 - 1999
  • 1999 - 2004
  • 2004 - Present