Junior Service League Goes Above and Beyond

Thanks for Your Leadership, Stefanie Pontlitz!

By Debra Taylor Tee

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The outgoing president of Junior Service League of Greater New Port Richey (JSL) has a great deal about which to be proud. Stefanie Pontlitz and her dedicated group of hard-working ladies have collectively donated thousands of hours, old-fashioned elbow grease, and much-needed financial support to more than a dozen non-profit organizations and worthy causes throughout NPR and West Pasco County. So much so, that their fundraising efforts have soared to more than $30,000 during her tenure.

Stefanie said, “I was ten years-old when my mom was JSL President, and I remember looking at those women thinking ‘these women have it all.’ That same thought crosses my mind whenever I look at our members. They are the cream of the crop! And after all of our awards and successes this year, others see it too. I see many more fruitful years for us ahead.  I’m thankful these ladies have let me be their leader this year, and I can’t wait to see what next year brings!”

JSL is comprised of women from all walks of life, who unite to selflessly share their time and talents to the benefit of the community they love! Their areas of expertise include teaching, banking, fundraising, and homemaking, just to name a few. The empowered individuals that make up this dynamic group of women may never have crossed paths prior to working together through JSL, but the resulting camaraderie, or ‘sisterhood,’ benefits everyone involved, but none so much as our community, as a whole.

As president, Stefanie has been the “go-to” whenever anything was needed.  She was in charge of running board of directors and general meetings; overseeing the various committees insuring all were on task, and daily operations of JSL flowed smoothly. With a dozen new members joining the team, Stefanie made sure everyone was welcomed and informed about the projects underway by the club. Further, Stefanie proudly served as liaison to the community on behalf of the club, “to let Pasco know how much good JSL is doing!”

She explained, “In addition to the money we distribute to various organizations, we choose two sweat equity projects, where the girls can help the non-profits first hand. We don’t just write checks, we really make a difference. This year, we couldn’t decide, so we chose three projects to tackle hands-on!”

The three projects were blessings to the recipients:

  • PACE Center for Girls is currently receiving much-needed make-overs of their library and cafeteria.
  • The RAP House project is in progress and includes new seating, a television, a wall desk, bookshelves, books, games and more.
  • Healthy Families Pasco desperately needed freshly painted walls, and JSL made it happen.

In 2014, JSL deservedly won the Association of Fundraising Professionals Philanthropic Service Organization of the Year award, thanks to their generous fiscal and physical support of dozens of area non-profit organizations.

Stefanie also serves as Vice President of Development for United Way of Pasco and is active in Leadership Pasco, SPCA Suncoast, and Trinity Rotary. She and her husband, Derek, a financial advisor in downtown NPR, will reside in New Port Richey in the coming year.

As Angie Gardner accepts the presidential role for fiscal year 2015-2016, women who have a desire to serve and support others are encouraged to join JSL! The club meets August – May, with a break for family in June and July. They will host a New Member Mixer on August 20th, with the location to be announced. Like and follow JSL’s Facebook Page, “Junior Service League of Greater New Port Richey” and visit their new website in late July: www.juniorserviceleague.com, for more information.

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