JLS History

 In April 1959, five women joined together to form the Community Service League of Springfield, Missouri. Their vision: to make a positive contribution to Springfield through their voluntarism and fund raising efforts.Would these five, even in their wildest dreams, imagine the impact their organization would make in the decades to follow?

The Community Service League was accepted into the Association of Junior Leagues International in 1976, becoming its 231st member. The earliest fund raising efforts of selling fruitcakes evolved into multi-faceted, full-fledged businesses. Annual membership grew from 6 to 600.


JLS Founding Members from Left to Right: Jan Knauer Horton, Anne Peightel Wakeman, Suzanne McDonald Tynes, Patty Moran Brooks, Cynthia Farthing Hollander.

The Junior League of Springfield was instrumental in developing these projects and programs designed to benefit the Springfield community.


Children’s Clothing Bank

Visiting Nurses Association

1963 Girls Club (now Boys and Girls Club)
1972 KOZK, Ozarks Public Television
1973 Regional Girls’ Shelter
1974 KOZK, Ozarks Public Television Tele-Auction

Child Advocacy Center

History Museum of the Ozarks

Plaid Door Thrift Store


Community Needs Assessment Survey

The Springfield Ballet

1980 Dickerson Park Zoo Educational Amphitheater
1981 Hospice Program
1982 Ozarks Food Harvest

Leadership Springfield

Reading Is Fundamental

1985 Kids on the Block Puppet Troupe
1987 American Red Cross Blood Mobile

Discovery Center of Springfield

Teen Parent Program

1990 First Night Springfield
1991 Homebound Shoppers Service
1993 Dickerson Park Zoo Asian Elephant Education Program

Hall of Leaders Lecture Series at Springfield Public Schools

Greene County Teen Court

1997 Family Violence Center’s ABCs & 123s Educational Program
2000 Library Story Garden at the Springfield Library Center
2001 Boy Scout Nature Conservation Trail
2002 Ronald McDonald House Mobile Dental Care Unit, Founding Partner
2003 Boys and Girls Club Learning Center at the Bill Stalnaker Unit
2004 Community Needs Assessment
2005 Community Report Card, Second EditionFocus on Child Abuse and Neglect
2007 Isabel’s House, Crisis Nursery of the Ozarks

Darkness to Light community training program to prevent Child Abuse & Neglect

A Framework for Understanding Poverty

2014 Habitat for Humanity: Women Build

Homeless Youth Project

Community Focus Report

2016 Little Black Dress Initiative
2017 Community Focus Report