A League of Their Own

The goals and accomplishments of the Junior League of Harrisburg read like a wish list that has all come true: supporting other community events, providing grants to other local nonprofit organizations, providing hot breakfasts and Santa pictures for children, teaching kids about the benefits of healthful eating and exercise and much more.

Its members have volunteered at the Literacy Fair and at Caitlin’s Smiles.

The group, its successes and its dedicated volunteers are what attracted Nicole Kaylor, president, to become involved when she moved to the midstate from northeast Pennsylvania.

“It was a way to meet new people and volunteer,” she says. “I was extremely busy with my job at the time, having just graduated from law school [she is now a partner at Bybel Rutledge LLP focusing on business counseling, mergers, acquisitions, securities law, tax, intellectual property and commercial transactions]. It was a wonderful opportunity for organized volunteer work.”

Before taking the helm, Kaylor served many years on its community outreach council and eventually became its chair.

She then became a member of its board of directors and played an active role in implementing amendments to the Junior League’s bylaws, policies and procedures.

Kaylor is proud of everything that the women of the Junior League have achieved, and she’ll be the first to tell you that the league is truly “an historical organization” that will be celebrating its 85th anniversary next year.

In fact, new members spend their first year learning about the history of the league and being trained to become active members.

“Many of the local events that continue today were events that were initiated by the Junior League of Harrisburg,” Kaylor explains.

Historically, the Junior League of Harrisburg had provided the area’s first childhood immunization awareness campaign even before such programs were federally mandated and funded.

It also founded the Museum of Scientific Discovery in 1981, which is now part of the Whitaker Center and provides educational science programs for children.

“Many of the local events that continue today were events that were initiated by the Junior League of Harrisburg,” Kaylor explains.

The Junior League of Harrisburg creates innovative events to meet its mission, such as raising funds through the league’s annual Run for the Health of It 5-K in Camp Hill, which will be held this year on Saturday, November 2.

Another is Bargain Box, otherwise known as central Pennsylvania’s largest rummage sale, scheduled to take place April 13 at Harrisburg High School.

This will be the 145th Bargain Box event in Harrisburg, which was adopted years ago by the league as a way to not only provide inexpensive clothing to those who live in and around the city, but also as a fundraiser.

Regular admission costs $1, and doors open at 8 a.m. Prices get slashed from noon to 1 p.m. when it’s whatever you can fill in a paper grocery bag for $5.

This year, the league has added a VIP hour where anyone can get in an hour early for $10.

“We’ve found over the years, when we open the doors, it’s a mad dash,” Kaylor says. “So, this year, we are opening up at 7 a.m. for those who want a jumpstart on the deals.”

And the deals are plenty.

There are women’s, men’s and children’s items, home goods, furniture, books, electronics and shoes. There will also be a boutique area filled with high-end, name-brand items.

For example, you may find a Diane Von Furstenburg dress for under $20, says Kaylor.

All monies raised goes right back into the Harrisburg community.

“Bottom line, Bargain Box is a great place to find good clothes and home goods for rock-bottom prices,” she says. “If you like to bargain shop, you need to come to Bargain Box.”