Sister City

The PV Juniors celebrate more than a half-century of giving.

  • Category
    People
  • Written by
    Diane E.

Without compassionate generosity, the global socioeconomic imbalance of humanity would drastically be tipped less favorably than it already is for people enduring some of life’s greatest struggles. In 1958, it was compassion and community involvement that inspired a group of kindhearted young women living in Palos Verdes to help less fortunate local families. 

With $50 in seed money from the Palos Verdes Woman’s Club that was established in 1926, they formed another non-profit organization for younger members—the Palos Verdes Junior Women’s Club (also known as PV Juniors). The members’ appreciation for bringing friends together in the South Bay soon led to the first dinner dance fundraiser at the Palos Verdes Country Club, which is home to the charity’s annual holiday luncheon today. 

Their affinity for fashion and design inspired a successful fashion show benefit in March 1959 at Marineland (currently Terranea Resort), marking the beginning of an annual spring fundraiser tradition. Ice cream socials, cookbook sales, raffles and other activities rounded out the women’s creative ways to raise money for local hospitals, children’s foundations and a growing list of beneficiaries.

More than a half-century later, with “hearts caring and sharing” as the motto and mainstay of the charity, the founders’ dedication to helping others lives on. 

When current president, Silvia Van Dusen, was asked what differentiates the charity today from the early days, she says, 

“I think the biggest difference is having enough time to volunteer and run successful fundraisers. In the beginning most members did not work outside of the home. Today, we have a very diverse membership of women of all ages that includes many accomplished career women and some single parents. Now it is a challenge to do more with less time. However, our members continue to give of themselves even with the demands of balancing work schedules, parenting and personal lives.”

Over the course of 56 years, the Palos Verdes Junior Women’s Club has turned a $50 start-up fund with an initial $25 donation for school clothes for a family’s children into approximately $3,000,000 in fundraising and donations, helping numerous families in crisis and funding many college scholarships. Selected charities have included the Boys & Girls Club, Providence TrinityKids Care Hospice Foundation, Rainbow Services, Community’s Child, Los Angeles Challenge and many more. 

Key to this tremendous success has been the ongoing financial and personal commitment of the organization’s 100+ members. Annual dues fund administrative expenses so 100% of the net proceeds can be distributed to philanthropies. 

Since there is no paid staff, all members spend time through-out the year filling a wide variety of volunteer positions while keeping their sights set on the annual donations disbursement ceremony—a joyful and often emotional opportunity to meet the deserving recipients and celebrate the fruits of their commitment and year’s work. 

Though the Palos Verdes Junior Women’s Club members have changed over the years, the need for their outreach and special philanthropic work is greater than ever before. Today, as in the beginning, a spirited collaboration of passionate women carry on a tradition of making a difference in the community while turning strangers into friends and changing lives.

The PV Juniors will present their annual fundraiser “Night of Thrones, An Evening of Medieval Elegance in an Enchanted Forest” on Saturday, March 15 at Trump National Golf Course. Tickets are $185 per person. After March 1, ticket price will increase to $200 per person. For more information, go to pvjuniors.org.
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