Our History

With over 85 years of active service to the communities of Broward County, The Junior League of Greater Fort Lauderdale has a rich history, read more below including our various legacy projects which you’ve probably heard of.


  • June 28, 1937League Founding

    The Junior League of Greater Fort Lauderdale was founded as the Fort Lauderdale Junior Service League, a non- profit organization, for the purpose of providing the community with willing volunteers in civic and child welfare work. The founders were Susan B. Anthony, II and Charlotte A. Carlisle, with 15 charter members. Mrs. Clinton (Virginia) Gamble was elected as the first president.

    Founding Members of Junior League of Greater Fort Lauderdale
  • 1940

    1940:  The Thrift Shop was opened at the corner of Broward Boulevard and Andrews Avenue on the site now occupied by the Broward Governmental Center.

    1942: Legacy Project Jack & Jill Children’s Center was established.

    1947: The first Follies Fundraiser was held.

  • 1950

    1953: Opened legacy project Broward Mental Hygiene Clinic, now known as Henderson Mental Health Clinic.

    1958: Accepted by the Association of Junior League’s of America (AJLA). Founded legacy project Fort Lauderdale Art Center, now known as the Nova Southeastern University Art Museum of Fort Lauderdale.

  • 1960

    1960: Purchased and showed films on the prevention of child molestation in Broward County Schools.

    1966: Recognized by the Fort Lauderdale News (Now Sun-Sentinel) as the Outstanding Club of the Year.

    1969: Employed first paid manager for the Thrift Shop.

  • 1970Busy Decade

    1970: Provided financial support and volunteers to show the film “Drugs Are Like That” in Broward County elementary schools; Sent a letter to the City Commission asking that the New River Inn and surrounding area be declared a historic site; Allocated funds for the purpose of the relocation and restoration of the King-Cromartie House.

    1971: Relocated and restored the King-Cromartie House; Historic preservation efforts and education on local history continues throughout the 70’s; Held the first night Junior League meeting. This led to establish the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society.

    1973: Employed first paid office manager.

    1975: First year offering a complete Provisional course in the evenings for women in the workforce.

    1977: After 3 years of planning for Legacy project, the New River Exploratorium opens…to become known as the Discovery Center and known today as Legacy project, Museum of Science & Discovery.

    1978: Planning initiated for the legacy project, Kids in Distress, Inc.

  • 1980

    1980: The award-winning cookbook, the League’s first, Sunny Side Up was published.

    1981: Legacy Project Kids in Distress, Inc. opens to the community.

    1985: Established our first Community Advisory Board comprised of community leaders that provide counsel and guidance on current operations as well as setting the course for the future.

  • 1990Busy Decade

    1990: The League was given ownership of the property located at 704 Southeast First Street, which became the location of our headquarters.

    1992: Research was completed for legacy project Susan B. Anthony Recovery Center, South Florida’s Women’s Business Conference voted in as a fundraiser.

    1993: After 5 years of planning and collaboration, the legacy project S.O.S. Children’s Village opens.

    1994: Legacy Project OUR House had its grand opening. After 5 years, Susan B. Anthony Recovery Center showcased at a national Junior League conference. Speakers of note included Coretta Scott King and Katie Couric.

    1996: The Junior League was recognized as the Outstanding Volunteer Organization by Broward House at the National Philanthropy Day awards luncheon.

    1997: Our Endowment Fund is established at the Community Foundation of Broward with initial gift made in honor of our 60th Anniversary.

    1998: The League’s second award-winning cookbook Made in the Shade was unveiled in December and named the office cookbook of the city of Fort Lauderdale.

  • 2000

    2000: Sponsored the Junior League Play Station at Holiday Park, an ADA accessible playground. Funds for the project were raised over a four year period.

    2003: Focus strategically shifted to raising funds prior to committing to projects. During this approximate two-year period, emphasis was placed on hands-on community involvement.

    2006: Transitional Independent Living project was initiated with the United Way and Community Foundation of Broward to address the needs of youth aging out of the foster care system.

    2008: The third League cookbook Paradise Served was published.

    2009: Healthfully Ever After, a 2nd grade nutrition education curriculum, was disseminated to teachers. The program was recognized as Partner of the Year from Broward County Public Schools for its positive impact on the childhood obesity epidemic. The Fort Lauderdale Independence Training & Education (FLITE) Center opened its doors to the community in July’s a one stop ship resource center for youth aging out of the foster care system.

  • 201080 Years of Service

    2014: Human Trafficking is voted in as the next community impact area.

    2017: The Junior League of Greater Fort Lauderdale celebrates 80 years of service in Broward County.

    2018: The Junior League of Greater Fort Lauderdale sold its headquarters property at 704 SE 1st Street. It began leasing office space from the Marine Industry Association of South Florida.

  • 2020

    2020: Food Insecurity is voted in as the next community impact area.

    2023: After 2nd Annual Totes & Tots consignment sale, Junior League of Greater Fort Lauderdale donates $25,000 worth of children’s items to various local charities.