JLSD’s Charter Day luncheon brings together Junior League members of all generations — and their friends — to celebrate JLSD’s rich history serving the San Diego community, hear from JLSD leadership, and enjoy a guest speaker on a related topic.
Unlike many JLSD events, Charter Day is celebratory event — not a fundraiser. The luncheon is designed simply to celebrate JLSD’s work across generations. Charter Day is a great “friendraising” event to invite friends and family to attend.
Guest Speaker: Deborah Szekely
Regularly dubbed the “Godmother” or “Queen” of Wellness and recognized as the founder of the modern health and fitness movement, Deboah Szekely, 97, has lived a colorful life. She was just a teen when she and her new husband opened a health retreat in Tecate, Mexico. Later she founded the famous Golden Door spa in Los Angeles at the request of famous Hollywood actresses who wanted a place “just for us” where they could regroup and refresh in between movies. She founded COMBO (Combined Arts and Education Council of San Diego County) in 1978, which has raised over $25 million to support 21 cultural organizations, including the rebuilding of the Old Globe Theatre in the early 80’s. She was a US Diplomat and head of the Inter-American Foundation from 1984-1990. In 2014, Deborah was inducted into the San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame. Hear first hand from this aspirational woman about her life experiences at this year’s Charter Day celebration.
The History of JLSD’s Charter
In early 1927, Lillian Bradley, in her capacity as Chairman of San Diego’s 18th Annual Charity Ball, visited with the director of the highly-touted Junior League Ball of Pasadena. While there, she also met with the President of the Pasadena Junior League and learned more about the goals of this extraordinary organization. She came away from her visit determined to establish a Junior League in San Diego.
Later that year, Mrs. Bradley and her friend Emily Clayton founded the Junior Committee for San Diego Charities with the express purpose of securing admission into the Association of Junior Leagues of America (AJLA). Their first goal was to establish a Day Nursery to care for the children of working parents. In 1929, with sponsorship from the Junior Leagues in Santa Barbara and San Francisco, AJLA accepted the entry application from the Junior Committee. The Junior League of San Diego became the fifth League in the state of California, and the 105th member to join the Association of Junior Leagues.
Since then, the Junior League of San Diego has been integral in assessing community needs and instituting programs to meet those needs. The Polinsky Center, Voices for Children, LEAD San Diego, and Kids on the Block are just a few of the organizations and events that were created by JLSD single-handedly or through a collaborative community effort. Over the years, JLSD has partnered with dozens of San Diego non-profits to provide strategic volunteer support as well as financial assistance and Community Assistance Grants. From its inception, JLSD has addressed critical issues such as Domestic Violence Prevention & Intervention, Literacy, and Family Support for Education, reduction of childhood obesity in San Diego and now focuses its efforts on Transition Age Foster Youth.
Please join us in celebrating JLSD’s 91st annual Charter Day at this special event!