“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” ~Ryunosuke Satoro

This quote is so very applicable to our organization! It truly symbolizes the mentality of why our charter members formed the Junior League of Panama City, over sixty years ago. These twenty women came together with goals of fostering interest in the social, economic, educational, cultural and civic conditions of the community; promoting the interest of its members in volunteer service to the community; and working in harmony with the policies of the Association of Junior Leagues (now AJLI). These goals are hard to achieve as an individual…especially as a woman in 1951. The answer was to organize together, as a group. The drops formed an ocean.

From the beginning, we have rallied as a group for various causes, recognizing the strength in numbers. Consider some of our historic projects and ponder how the impact could be achieved without our organization collectively pulling together…impossible! Imagine attempting to fund raise close to $3 million over the past 60 years as an individual, whether it be through Thrift Shop, Charity Ball, Whale of a Sale, Holly Fair, or Mystique. Envision a single member tackling Child Service Center to clothe over 1500 children a year in Bay County Schools. Contemplate the possibility of one woman submitting, testing, editing, publishing, marketing, and selling any one of our fabulous cookbooks…alone. We have accomplished all of this by working as an ocean.

Now, we are forming a bigger body all over again. In the global sense, our organization has still been but a drop…but no longer. On March 2nd, 2012, our organization was accepted as the 293rd Junior League in the Association of Junior Leagues International. We join a global movement that is over 155,000 women strong, in four countries around the world. Imagine the possibilities of this vast ocean! This was the vision of those 20 charter members…and more than 60 years later, that dream is a reality.

For more information, please visit ajli.org.