The JUNIOR LEAGUE OF CLEVELAND, INC. was founded on September 6, 1912 by a group of clubwomen meeting at the home of Mrs. Amasa Stone Mather. Relatively unchanged since 1912, the purpose of the league is threefold: 1) to promote voluntarism, 2) to develop the potential of women and 3) improve the community through effective volunteer activities and leadership. Programs sponsored by the league address concerns related to women, children, and education. (In 2007, the League focused attention on the issues of homelessness, domestic violence, literacy, and preventive health.) The Junior League has been managed by a board of trustees, the president, fund development vice president, and treasurer. The president and treasurer serve nonconcurrent two-year terms, while the remaining trustees are elected annually. The categories of membership are active, provisional (probationary for a period of one year), sustaining, and honorary.
During its early years, a major project was the establishment of the League House, located at 2344 Prospect Avenue, as a low-rent residence for working women. During the Depression, the league manned milk stations and brought theater to Cleveland children through the Junior League Players. During World War II, the league staffed Red Cross offices, handled Savings Bond drives, sponsored entertainment for servicemen, and helped to provide volunteers for civil defense. In 1972, the group sponsored its first decorators' showcase, in which rooms of a prominent area residence were redecorated by selected local decorators and opened to the public. The league awarded a grant of $125,000 toward the redevelopment of PLAYHOUSE SQUARE and $75,000 for renovation of the dining rooms in the STEAMSHIP WM. G. MATHER MUSEUM.
Located since 1989 in a renovated house at 10819 Magnolia Drive, the Junior League had grown by 2007 to 350 from its original 67 members. In 2006-2007, the president was Amy Boyd-Kirksey.