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Kicking off the 2017-18 League Year

Posted By Debie Harrison, Friday, September 29, 2017

If you were at the Shops at Legacy on August 28th you may have noticed quite a few women wandering the shops in different shades of blue.  Coincidence?    No!   These women belong to the Junior League of Collin County and were gathering at the Angelika Movie Theater for the first general membership meeting of the 2017-2018 league year, and they started this year to the beat of the Clark High School Drumline.

What is Junior League?   I’m glad you asked!   The Junior League of Collin County is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained    volunteers.  Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable.

The first general membership meeting is always met with buzz and excitement for the upcoming year of  giving back to the community.  This year was no exception.   The Junior League president Sheri Steele presented checks to the following community agencies:  Assistance League of Collin County, Children’s Medical Center Foundation, Little Hearts of Hope, Family Promise of Collin County, The Bridge Foundation, Girls on the Run, Bridge Breast Network, Camp iHope Foundation. 

Michelle Adams, founder of Marketing Brainology, was the speaker of the evening.  She educated league members on what her company does and how they impact the community.  Marketing Brainology is a consulting practice that helps companies gain insight on the best way to market to people based on how human’s make decisions and how human emotions can impact decisions. 

The evening concluded with socializing and catching up with friends made through Junior League both old and new.   These ladies are about to Aspire and Inspire each other and all of Collin County.  This league year is sure to be met with much success in improving our community and developing the potential of women.   Pass the popcorn! 

Debie Harrison, 5th year active

JLCC External Blogger 2017-18

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The CITY House R.I.S.E. Project

Posted By Kirsten Hines, Thursday, October 20, 2016

JLCC ‘R.I.S.E.’s to the occasion and fulfills need for City House

 

When City House recently had a need arise, they didn’t hesitate to reach out and ask if the Junior League of Collin County (JLCC) could help. Being a long-time partner of JLCC, they knew that we’d be able to help - especially since this need dovetailed with some of our existing projects - JuMP, HopeWorks and My Friend’s House

 

City House asked if we would be willing to help teach life skills classes to the young adults in their Transitional Living Program (TLP). The residents of this program are 18 to 21 year-old men and women who have aged out of the foster care system and are working towards living independently, but need a hand learning necessary life skills. All the things our parents taught us about how to live as an adult - getting and keeping a job, living on a budget, getting an apartment, etc. - these young adults were never taught, and City House thought JLCC’s trained volunteers would be a great fit to help get them on the right track. What’s more, based on our experience with City House, we knew they’d be a great partner.

 

 

After much planning, R.I.S.E. (Reaching Independence and Success with Education) was born. There are currently 18 participants in the program and Life Skills is a mandatory requirement – along with maintaining employment and being drug free. 

 

As R.I.S.E. began to take shape, the committee’s excitement grew. The idea of seeing quantifiable changes in someone's life and being able to set them up for success really ignited their passion for this project. In fact, our committee was so excited about the project that one of our members, Lauren Carranza, requested RISE as her committee placement this year, she stated “While working on RISE behind the scenes and seeing this idea come to fruition I knew this was a project I had to be a part of. The young adults we work with at City House have overcome so much and it is so wonderful to see their drive and eagerness to become successful adults. Our role on the RISE committee is to empower these young people and give them tools to thrive but these young adults inspire us every single class.”

 

JLCC's R.I.S.E team is only eight weeks into their weekly shifts and can see that they are meeting the needs of these young men and women who are starved for caring positive role models. Our volunteers share their wisdom for anywhere from a few weeks to 18 months (the TLP program limit).  Each Life Skills lesson is invaluable for this at-risk population as they learn the how-to’s of survival they need to transition into thriving responsible adults!  

 

“As soon as I saw this new project opportunity, I knew I wanted to be involved. I was thrilled to learn EVERY committee member also asked to be placed on R.I.S.E.!” said Sonja Baumgartner. “Our first adventure together was the kick-off party to meet the TLP staff and the teens, and as in true JLCC style, we planned a fun and interactive event - with plenty of food too. It was such a rewarding evening watching skeptical and reserved young adults transform into talkative and interested Life Skills participants. Since, then we've planned theme lessons on automobiles, apartments, etiquette and employment with each week getting better and better!” 

 

 

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It's The Junior League way: When you find a need, create the solution

Posted By Kirsten Hines, Friday, September 2, 2016

Everyone agrees that juvenile crime has wide-ranging implications for young offenders as well as their families and communities. But when members of the Junior League of Collin County saw that “diversion programs” for young first-time offenders were not readily available in their area, they decided to dig deeper. What they discovered was that often the best legal outcome was probation only—with only the traditional probation services.

The question: Why not provide non-violent, first-time offenders with leadership classes to help them in school, in their families and in their communities? What if a condition of successfully deferring formal judicial proceedings was to attend these classes put on by he Junior League of Collin County?

It wasn’t an easy process, but with the help of master counselors at different regional agencies, JLCC began to outline their proposal for the course and began to seek approval of the Collin County Juvenile Probation Services. With the ability to fund the program, all the League needed was approval, a meeting space and kids.

It took two years to secure the approval, but JLCC’s Juvenile Mentoring Program (JuMP)—winner of AJLI’s 2016 Community Impact Award—began to provide a six-module program to first time non-violent offenders in McKinney, Texas in June 2013. League volunteers, with training from Collin County Juvenile Probation Services, conduct interventional training sessions with a curriculum that covers topics each month such as Media Literacy and Messaging, Boundary Setting and Building Healthy Relationships, Conflict Resolution and Life Skills training. JuMP provides the guidance, tools and resources necessary to reduce the likelihood of re-offending.

The participants, referred by the Collin County Juvenile Probation Services, are chosen based on their referral history, potential to benefit from the program, and their ability to complete the program based on family support. Program capacity is limited at this point based on the size of the classrooms available and because the League strives to have one-to-one mentoring relationship in an uplifting environment.

In the first two years of the program, 40 kids, aged 11 to 15, have graduated from JuMP and successfully completed probation. The program has been expanded to a second location in Plano, and plans for expansion into additional locations are in discussion. The possibility of offering parent education classes is also being explored.

Anecdotal evidence of the program’s success can be found in the remarks from one participant who reported that participating in JuMP made him realize that he needed to make changes in his life, successfully complete rehab treatment and return to school, where he is now getting good grades.
Adds Maria Moffatt, President of JLCC, “You can’t change everybody, but if you can change the course of one teen’s life, this program will have worked.”

Originally Posted: August 3, 2016 ajli connected

Tags:  children and youth  grants  jump 

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JLCC Celebrates 40th Anniversary in 2016

Posted By Jessica R. Gatlin, Friday, April 29, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Forty years ago, thirteen women, powered by vision and a purpose, were determined to improve their community. In May 1976, the Plano Service League (now the Junior League of Collin County) was born. From bringing dental care to needy children to assisting at the Swine Flu Clinic, 40 years of distinguished service had begun. And as the city of Plano and the surrounding Collin County area exploded with growth, it was matched by the growth of its members willing to serve.

The Junior League of Collin County (JLCC) developed numerous programs to help the development of youth across the county. JuMP, Collin County’s Juvenile Mentoring Program, helps to implement a positive setting for Collin County juveniles and present curriculum on topics such as self-esteem building, internet messaging, healthy relationships, making good choices, and life skills training. The League has also been instrumental in Collin County Children’s Advocacy Center, Serenity High, Sci-Tech Discovery Center, and the Collin County Juvenile Detention Center. Current projects promote literacy, protect at-risk youth, and promote health and nutrition. Members of the Junior League of Collin County educate, comfort, and serve – all in the name of improving the community.



Since its inception, the League has continually led the forefront of the war against family violence. The League has helped to develop the Collin County Council on Family Violence which holds the White Ribbon Rally, Interfaith Family Violence Symposium, and the CCCFV Annual Conference.

The achievements over the years have not gone unrecognized. The League has had seventeen Top Women of Collin County over the years, six Citizen of the Year (Plano) Awards, six Athena Awards (Plano Chamber of Commerce for exceptional women leaders), and eight Distinguished Leadership Award recipients (awarded by Leadership Plano), to name a few. Our members serve on nonprofit boards and within leadership programs across the county. Consistently recognized for its impact to the community, the JLCC received the 2005 Special Award of Merit from the Plano Chamber of Commerce for its service, work, and dedication to the community.

The support received from the citizens of North Texas has been phenomenal. In 2015, the League welcomed over 11,000 visitors to the 20th annual ‘Neath the Wreath Holiday Gift Market and held the largest American Girl™ Fashion Show since it began.

As our League moves into its 40th year, we are more than 900 women serving over 44,000 volunteer hours each year. We are dedicated to bettering life by promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through action and leadership of trained volunteers.

Tags:  Celebration  collin county  community impact programs  JLCC  JLCC 40th Anniverary  volunteerism 

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'Neath The Wreath Celebrates 25 Years of Success

Posted By Jessica R. Gatlin, Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Updated: Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 was a momentous year for the Junior League of Collin County ‘Neath the Wreath Holiday Market at Plano Centre.  This year we celebrated 20 years of ‘Neath the Wreath magic with a “Winter Wonderland” theme.  The five-day fundraiser featured the best in holiday and home décor, ladies clothing and accessories, gifts, jewelry, children’s items and gourmet food from 120 carefully selected merchants.

Among those, five walked away with the Merchant Awards listed below:

 

Best Booth Design – Kiss & Make-up Boutique & Salon

 

Best New Merchant – Ornaments by Claudia

  

Best Returning Merchant – TW Home Essentials

 

People’s Choice Award – Rock ‘N’ Dee’s

  

Longest Consecutive Merchant – Carmie’s Kitchen

 

‘Neath the Wreath kicked off with our wildly popular Ladies Night Out on Wednesday, November 4th. Offering the opportunity to pre-shop ‘Neath the Wreath, sip a cocktail, bid on items of incredible value in our silent auction and walk away with a fabulous swag bag valued at over $300, Ladies Night Out VIP tickets sell out quickly. General admission to the ‘Neath the Wreath market began on Thursday, November 4, and continued through Sunday, November 8, where over 11,000 shoppers joined us for holiday shopping and merriment.

  

‘Neath the Wreath Holiday Gift Market is the Junior League of Collin County’s largest fundraiser.  In the last 20 years, it has generated more than $2.79 million in local revenue and has helped fund the many JLCC charitable projects, volunteer training, community grants and programs impacting Collin County.

Our dates for next year are already set, so make ‘Neath The Wreath one of your holiday traditions! Join us for Ladies Night Out on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 and our general market November 10-13, 2016, at the Plano Centre. For more information on attending or showcasing at ‘Neath the Wreath, visit www.NeathTheWreath.org.

Tags:  JLCC  Junior League  'Neath The Wreath 2015  'Neath The Wreath Vendor Highlight  Shopping 

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Continuing Education with Literacy Leaders

Posted By Jessica R. Gatlin, Saturday, September 26, 2015
Updated: Tuesday, September 22, 2015

 JLCC recognizes that literacy is a fundamental necessity to be a self-sustaining and productive citizen. As such, we created Literacy Leaders, where trained JLCC volunteers assist in teaching adult and children’s literacy classes and provide one-on-one tutoring, curriculum development, and facilitation of group sessions. In partnership with Plano Family Literacy, this program offers adult education, early childhood education, and parenting education to speakers of a language other than English, as well as basic literacy skills. 

 

The letters that are pictured reiterate how astounding and absolutely life-changing the students’ progress over the years is. So much so, that the students graduate with higher self-esteem and a greater work ethic. JLCC volunteer Paige Nalley believes that working on Literacy Leaders comprises “some of the best hours teaching and learning that I’ve had the joy of experiencing.” This past May, JLCC hosted a graduation party to celebrate the success of the latest graduates. Food, drinks and colorful decorations were provided by our volunteers, who love participating and partnering with Plano Family Literacy. 

Tags:  community impact programs  JLCC  Junior League  Junior League of Collin County  Literacy Leaders 

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JLCC Awards Funds to Health Services of North Texas, Inc.

Posted By Jessica R. Gatlin, Thursday, September 17, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, August 19, 2015

JLCC recently awarded $995 in Agency Assistance Funds to Health Services of North Texas, Inc. This nonprofit organization is dedicated to providing excellent Medical Care, Behavioral Health and Counseling, Infectious Disease Case Management, Nutrition and Wellness, as well as a Guardianship program to North Texans.

Plano Children's Medical Clinic (PCMC), a branch of Health Services of North Texas Inc., provides comprehensive medical care for children in Collin County. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for all North Texans through medical care, support services and advocacy. They do this by providing children from infants to 18 years old, low-cost, sliding-scale fee services that are accessible and holistic, including well-child exams, immunizations, treatment for acute and chronic physical and social conditions, disease and case management and access to specialty care. PCMC primarily serves those most vulnerable to healthcare barriers - uninsured, underinsured and low-income children who have no other source of healthcare. Serving over 2,000 children annually, PCMC is removing health disparities and empowering children and families to live healthier lives in order to reach their full potential.

PCMC specifically requested funds to provide a supply of diapers to low-income patients as part of a medical visit. Funds from JLCC will provide 117 patients each with one (1), 12-pack of diapers. According to state data, 25% of Collin County children live 200% below the federal poverty line and live in families that lack the financial resources to meet their most basic needs (i.e. food, rent, medical care). Diapers represent a significant cost to such families. On average, a family has to spend $18 a week per child, or $936 a year, for diapers, which represents 6% of a single mother's gross pay for a full-time minimum wage job. Cloth diapers, which are reusable, are not a viable option as most day care centers will not accept them and laundromats will not allow families to wash this type of diaper. Federal food stamp and WIC (Supplemental Nutrition Program and Women, Infants and Children respectively) benefits do not cover diaper purchase, either. There are fewer than 100 diaper banks nationwide, as well, which further diminishes options for families with a diaper need. As a result, many families stretch their diapers by waiting longer to change an infant. Such methods prove to be detrimental for children's health - wet diapers cause dermatitis and urinary tract infections, both of which result in numerous costly ER and doctor's visits each year. PCMC typically serves children of families who are of low-to-moderate income status and lack the personal resources to secure their most basic human needs.

Eighty-five percent of PCMC's patients live at or below 200% of the federal poverty level, 90% of patients use CHIP or Medicaid and the remaining patients are uninsured. These patients also disproportionately face chronic disease (i.e. diabetes, obesity, kidney disease) as compared to the overall population. PCMC sees in this patient population a need to provide diapers in order to prevent potentially negative health consequences for children. "On behalf of JLCC, I was thrilled to present these funds for such a worthy cause," said Robin Bellerby.

Tags:  Agency Assistance Funds  Health Services of North Texas  JLCC  Junior League 

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Mark Your Calendar to Leave Your Mark on September 17th!

Posted By Jessica R. Gatlin, Friday, September 11, 2015
Updated: Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Junior League of Collin County is participating in North Texas Giving Day for the third year in a row. North Texas Giving Day is Thursday, September 17th, from 6 a.m. to midnight and is organized by the Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT). It is an online giving event that provides over 2,100 nonprofits the opportunity to come together to raise as much money as possible for their organization. This year, CFT has raised two million dollars in bonus funds to give out to participating non-profits throughout the day as various prizes.

On the morning of September 17th, please visit www.JLCCGivingDay.org, between 6 a.m. and midnight, to donate.

Donations of $25 or more will be eligible for bonus funds. All donations are tax-deductible and go towards supporting the Junior League of Collin County’s projects, programs and initiatives, including:

  • Training and Education of our members and the community in areas of meeting facilitation, civic leadership and engagement, and nonprofit best practices
  • Literacy Leaders, which assists non-native English speaking adults and children with reading and life skills
  • HopeWorks, a vocational readiness and work-skills training program with the goal of empowering survivors of domestic violence in securing independent, violence-free lifestyles
  • Kids in the Kitchen, which helps to promote healthy eating and exercise for kids
  • Collin County Council on Family Violence which brings together agencies, law enforcement, legal aide, and clergy to collaborate on ending family violence
  • Juvenile Mentoring Program (JuMP) which provides structured mentoring and education to at-risk youth  

 

About the Junior League of Collin County

Nearly 1,000 women strong, connected by values of service, leadership and respect, the Junior League of Collin County is an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. This year the Junior League of Collin County will touch lives and forever change them through outreach and support of over 110 local agencies and 9 community projects and initiatives.   For membership or to contribute, please visit: http://www.jlcollincounty.org

Tags:  donation  JLCC  Junior League  nonprofit  North Texas Giving Day 2015  ntxgivingday 

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Community Receives Over $60,000 in Grants from JLCC

Posted By Jessica R. Gatlin, Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Updated: Saturday, July 11, 2015

 

The Junior League of Collin County Community Grants program supports collaborative programs that have significant impact on the Collin County community and align with the JLCC mission and focus. At a check presentation and reception held on May 26th, twelve Collin County nonprofit organizations were selected to receive funding to support their proposed programs, ranging from providing resources for survivors of family violence, support for low-income families and seniors, education and enrichment programs, children’s health and more.

“We were pleased to have received applications for so many innovative programs which serve the needs in Collin County,” said Julie DeHan, Chair of the Community Grants Committee. “It is wonderful to know that JLCC has such a strong network of partners serving to improve life in our community.”

The Community Grant selection process is an opportunity to demonstrate the power of collaboration among nonprofit service providers. JLCC is able to combine financial resources, member volunteer hours and its leadership to support the most critical needs in Collin County. JLCC provides ongoing support in the form of an advisory role, nonprofit management education, volunteer support and amplifying the awareness for the issue area.

“Community grants enable JLCC to partner with local nonprofit agencies to implement programs which will have significant impact on our community. The JLCC is proud to partner with these organizations to further our mission in Collin County,” stated Angie Adams Sifferman, President 2014-2015 of JLCC.

Funds granted to ManeGait Therapeutic Horsemanship will sponsor the ManeGait Sensory Trail and Garden, a 1,000-ft trail that includes design elements to stimulate the senses of riders with disabilities.

Hope’s Door, Inc. will utilize their grant to expand the Transitional Housing Program by adding additional rental units for survivors of domestic violence.

The Community Lifeline Center will utilize their grant to continue providing financial support to North Collin County families who are at-risk of homelessness due to an unexpected and necessary financial expense.

Executive Director Christine Hockin-Boyd says, "...that a community stands tallest when it kneels to lend a helping hand. [CLC thanks JLCC] for kneeling with us as we provide housing assistance for families during their time of need.”

Strengthening Families of North Texas is excited to expand their “Family Well-Being” program, which provides at-risk families parenting classes, home visits, private counseling, and monthly group counseling sessions.

Funds granted to the Collin County Committee on Aging, Inc. will support the Senior Safety Net program to provide assistance to 40 extremely low-income, at-risk seniors with emergency alert response buttons and service, and assist with medical and dental expenses, which allows the clients to maintain a level of independence and remain in their homes as long as possible.

The Bridge Breast Network provides breast health information to approximately 500 individuals; patient navigation and/or referral services to 100 individuals; and potential breast cancer treatment services to up to two individuals in Collin County.

"No woman should have to choose between feeding her family or getting medical treatment. With [this grant] from JLCC, we'll be able to provide women in Collin County with lifesaving breast cancer resources and medical care.“ said Terry Wilson-Gray, Executive Director of The Bridge Breast Network.

Sci-Tech Discovery Center will expand their “Check Out Science” program, which provides family passes for free admission to Sci-Tech. Three passes, to be put into Title I elementary libraries for use by low-income students, will be sponsored.

Students with mobility issues and special needs will be able to easily participate in the tour of certain museum artifacts with new technology sponsored with the funds granted to the Museum of the American Railroad.  


The grant given to the Assistance League of Greater Collin County will help provide clothing and hygiene kits to 50 extremely low-income students in the Collin County area.

Heritage Farmstead Museum, which sponsors the Collin County Future Farmers of America Sheep and Goat Showmanship Clinic, will use their grant to pay for a new 10-month Junior FFA program and other instructional opportunities throughout the year.

Kathy Strobel, Director of Development at the Heritage Farmstead Museum, is excited to receive this grant and continue the partnership between JLCC and the museum. She said, “Together, JLCC, the Heritage Farmstead Museum and Future Farmers of America unite to support the development of future leaders through agricultural education.”

Children’s Medical Center Foundation will purchase eight new iPads with their grant, to be used in The Center for Pediatric Eating Disorders at Children’s Health Plano. The iPads will allow trained staff at the Center to teach teens strategies to manage social media pressures.

The 28 women and children of the Transformational Housing Program will be provided with financial support for housing expenses and direct services, thanks to Emily’s Place, Inc. and the grant funds from JLCC. Counseling, childcare, clothing, groceries and education are components of this amazing program.

Tags:  collin county  community impact programs  funding  grants  JLCC  Junior League 

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Meet JLCC's 2014-2015 Provisional of the Year, Danni Williams

Posted By Jessica R. Gatlin, Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Updated: Wednesday, May 27, 2015

 

Recruiting events for the Junior League of Collin County's 2015-2016 Provisional Class have begun! We are an organization of nearly 1,000 women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. If you want to improve lives in Collin County, train to become a better leader and form lifelong friendships and affiliations, then JLCC is the organization for you! There are several opportunities to learn more about JLCC and our membership process before recruitment ends on July 1st; just click here to register for any of our upcoming Membership Informational Sessions.

At the annual President's Dinner in May, JLCC awarded Danni Williams with the Provisional of the Year award, recognizing a new member who embodies hard work and commitment during her first year in League. This award acknowledges a new member for significantly contributing to JLCC's impact within the community.  Chosen by the Provisional (new member) Class, the award shows appreciation for a woman who has exihibited the qualities of a servant leader both within her class and the broader membership.

After Danni's husband retired from the military, she says she felt quite a disconnect from the world of volunteering. She'd been involved in family support organizations for over ten years and loved helping others, getting to know community resources and programs and being with other people who enjoyed giving back. She researched her options, looking for something that fit that description and she ended up at JLCC.

To Danni, JLCC means she has an opportunity to give back. She enjoys getting to spend time with other positive people who also enjoy giving back and she's appreciative of the chances she's had to learn and grow from each one. Although utilizing many of the skills she's already had, Danni says she's added more of them to her repertoire within this last year than she did in her prior ten years of volunteering. 

When she reflects on her provisional year, Danni thinks that it turned out really well. Even without winning an award, the friendships she gained and experiences she had have shaped her and will continue to be valued in her life. She is proud to show her children that it is an extremely positive thing to give back to the area you live in. 

People often ask Danni how she manages her time between grad school, working an internship, mothering her children, JLCC and her many hobbies. It's simple: she prioritizes. She relies heavily on her phone's calendar to keep her up to date on what activity is coming up next, but she has an incredibly supportive family to keep her afloat. She always puts people first, knowing that reading to her daughter is more important than wiping down the counters and doing the dishes. Those things will get done eventually, but quality time with her family is number one.

Danni's advice for potential new members is simple, "Involve yourself as much as you can and don't be shy! Volunteer to help out at any event you're attending; you'll get to know others and the work goes by twice as fast. Save contact information to your phone as soon as you make someone's acquaintance so that you can connect better with them later on. Treasure the people you are blessed to meet, learn from those you're working with and most of all, enjoy yourself!"

Tags:  JLCC  Junior League  new members  Provisional of the Year  recruitment 

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