The Junior League of Collin County has a rich history and commitment to improving lives in Collin County. This organization was founded in 1976 by thirteen visionary women who fully committed themselves to improving their evolving community at a time when Plano, Texas was becoming one of the fastest growing communities in the country. They formed the Plano Service League as they recognized there were needs in the community and they wanted to meet those needs. Evidence of this impactful work can be seen all across our community, as our members have engaged in community building since the earliest days of the League, and Junior League of Collin County members engage and commit to making positive change and serving as leaders across the community.
Late in the decade found the members of the Plano Service League helping to form the Plano Heritage Association to preserve the home and grounds of what would become known as the Heritage Farmstead and be added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978 . After a seven-year, 1.2 million dollar restoration, the Heritage Farmstead Museum would open its gates to the public in 1986. The Heritage Farmstead Association works to preserve, teach, and demonstrate the past to more than 30,000 visitors annually. The partnership with Heritage Farmstead Museum in 1976 and members acted as Heritage Farmstead Docents from 1997 to 2007. We ended the decade with A Touch of Country, Plano’s first gala which introduced a whole new approach to fundraising in Plano.
Membership exceeds 100 members and application is made for entry into the Association of Junior Leagues and became the 255th League in the Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc as the Junior League of Plano. Members launch Hip, Hip for Gray, a senior citizen arts and crafts fair hosted at Collin Creek Mall. We provided leadership and funding for a feasibility study for a juvenile justice center and were honored that Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor, dedicated the original center in 1983 which came to be known as the Collin County Juvenile Justice Center. We participated in the Sesquicentennial Plano celebration and the dedication of Downtown Park Plaza where we were Awarded Plano’s Volunteer of Year Award in the Education Group for Project LEAD. We sponsored a community-wide drug awareness rally with Congressman Dick Armey and ultimately received Texas War on Drugs Award for outstanding community service. The decade ended with launching the first Trinkets to Treasures Rummage sale and will become one of the league’s largest fundraisers.
The ’90’s find us launching the first American Girl Fashion Show and ‘Neath the Wreath to act as fundraisers for our initiatives and membership exceeds 500. During this decade our members helped to found the Collin County Advocacy Center which strove to find a more compassionate and effective way to bring services to Collin County children victimized by abuse. This strong public-private collaboration has significantly reduced the trauma associated with reporting child abuse while holding offenders accountable. To commemorate our 20th anniversary we established an endowment at Collin County Community College District. The decade ended with us funding the startup costs for Serenity High which was the country’s first drug-free high school.
The 2000’s began with the League initiating the Collin County Council on Family Violence (CCCFV) by sending questionnaires to healthcare, businesses, courts, probation, social services, education, District Attorney’s office, faith leaders, and law enforcement regarding family violence services and procedures. CCCFV then begins to meet monthly in order to collaboratively address family violence in Collin County and then hosts the first Facing Family Violence conference. Membership exceeds 900 and we move into our current office at 5805 Coit Road, Plano, Texas 75093. The annual publication Legends & Legacies is launched to serve as our annual report. Responding to community demand for a cultural and educational destination, Sci-Tech Discovery Center, Inc. was established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, educational organization in 2004 after the concept was studied and the vision shared with the community as a multi-year initiative of the Junior League of Plano. To commemorate our 30th anniversary we donated funds to furnish the Victim’s Waiting Room at the new McKinney Justice Center. The decade ended with co-hosting the 5th Annual Kids in the Kitchen event along with Children’s Medical Center and hosting the first ever CCCFV Faith Symposium.
The 2010’s begin with members researching a potential name change in order to reflect the county-wide membership and expanding community impact while piloting several new initiatives. The Junior League of Plano formally becomes known as The Junior League of Collin County (JLCC) in 2011. The 1st Annual Volunteer Appreciation Awards event is held and we give out $14,000 to several Collin County non-profits in awards. This event will later became known as the Excellence in Volunteer Service Awards. We piloted the JuMP (Juvenile Mentoring Program) in McKinney with Juvenile Probation Department of Collin County to provide selected first time, nonviolent youth a structured mentoring program that specifically addresses behavior that will equip them with the tools to be successful after they are released from probation. The program was ultimately recognized by the Association of Junior League International, Inc with the 2016 Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures Community Impact Award. The HopeWorks program was piloted in partnership with Hope’s Door, where volunteers educate clients residing in transitional housing and emergency shelters using proven curriculum. Set in an atmosphere of encouragement and compassion, HopeWorks strives to empower survivors of domestic violence with vocational preparation so they can secure independent, safe living conditions. The Go Govern! training program created along with Honorable Florence Shapiro to help members identify and learn about roles public office. Diversity and inclusion becomes a focus for the League and a work group is created to identify areas of opportunity and to affect change. To commemorate our 40th anniversary and our service to Collin County we completed forty service projects in one day on March 25th, 2016.