Junior League of Fresno – 2000s
From 2000 forward, the Marjaree Mason Center was the benefactor of the Junior League of Fresno, as members renovated one of the gathering rooms, developed therapeutic curriculum and activities for the children. In 2001, Exceptional Parents Unlimited, who works with disabled children and their families, received the gift of a playground used for therapy at its new center. During the 2001-2002 fiscal year, all Leagues celebrated the Centennial Anniversary of the Association of Junior Leagues International through their projects. The Fresno League sponsored a Stuffed Teddy Bear Drive to benefit emergency responders who deal with traumatized children on emergency scenes. In 2002, League sponsored a free Public Education Forum focusing on the plight of Fresno County’s youth. Through the Firefighters Creating Memories program, the Junior League has hosted families of medically challenged children at the Big Fresno Fair since 2000. Fresno County Family Court Services Division mediates over 7,000 child custody and visitation cases every year. In 2003-2004, the Fresno League renovated the Playroom and Waiting Room for the children. As Fresno County has the largest population of foster care youth (over 3,000) in Central California, the League worked with the Foster Care Permanency Planning Division during 2004-2005 to therapeutically enhance four visitation rooms where children try to maintain connections with their biological families. Then in 2005-2006, the League updated the Independent Living Program Resource Center Classroom used by youth turning 18 in foster care that are uncertain what will happen once they exit the system. The following year, the Life Skills Project for Foster Teens timing out of Foster Care was the focus of the Junior League of Fresno. In 2007, AJLI encouraged all Leagues to sponsor a “Kids In The Kitchen” event to address the national issue of childhood obesity. KITK has become an annual event. Since 2008, the Fresno League has sponsored the “Girl Power!” a mentoring and self-esteem program for girls ages 9 to 18 living in foster care.