The Fifties saw an increase in projects and fundraisers. In the area of health and welfare, funding provided additional travel group work for the Palama Settlement, a therapeutic and recreational swimming pool for the Rehabilitation Center of Hawaii, and a patient’s recreational pavilion at the Territorial (now State) Hospital. Children’s Theater continued, while the League expanded its service to the Arts by assisting in the establishment of the Honolulu Theater for Youth and the inauguration of the Keiki Concerts. Educational projects were important too. The Bishop Museum was the recipient of financial support for the construction of the observatory in “Kiolani,” its new Planetarium-Observatory and assistance in developing their volunteer program.
Project funds during this decade were raised, in part, from weekly fashion shows at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, with clothes modeled by League members. The most memorable fundraising event of the Fifties was the beginning of the Holiday Ball. From 1953-1965, the League held this annual gala event, complete with dinner, dancing, and an elaborate after-dinner show performed by League members. Becoming a tradition, Honolulu’s Christmas season began with the Junior League of Honolulu’s Holiday Ball. The Fifties found the League with strengthened ties to the Association of Junior Leagues of America, Inc. (that later became AJLI). In 1958, Honolulu hosted a Regional Meeting for the Association’s Region XII with great success.
The League continued to fulfill project commitments in the health and welfare areas by sponsoring the establishment of the Association for the Juvenile Detention Horne and the provision of equipment for the Waimano Training School and Horne. The League also remained involved in education, assisting the Honolulu Police Department by showing films to school children about child molestation and giving equipment and volunteer support to Pohukaina School. The League initiated Library Story Hours for pre-school children in library branches and donated a large gift of children’s books.
The Arts were not forgotten as the League continued to sponsor Keiki Concerts, gave financial support to the Honolulu Academy of Arts to assist in furnishing three studios in the new educational wing, and co-sponsored a creative arts program for the academically gifted child with the Academy and the Department of Education (DOE). Children’s Theater continued.
In 1965, a new interest emerged and efforts focused on projects relating to restoration and historic preservation. The League engaged noted architectural historian, Charles E. Peterson, F.A.I.A., to design an organizational format for the restoration of lolani Palace. The League assisted with the historical research necessary for the restoration and the publication of a register to disseminate the data, with all results turned over to the State. In addition, the League completed a documentary film called “Iolani Palace: Hawaii’s Past Today” giving film copies to the Library of Hawaii and the DOE. Interest in restoration and preservation was so keen that concurrently the League cooperated with the Mayor’s Historic Building Task Force in creating exhibits, films, and a TV documentary, “Kulaiwi.” In collaboration with several foundations, the League funded a booklet on Oahu’s Historic Buildings that was published for the 10th anniversary of statehood. The research developed during this period continues to be used.
The decade’s end found a return to education-centered projects. First with the Zoo Education Program in cooperation with the Honolulu Zoo and second, with a jointly sponsored non-technical conference on air and water pollution organized with the Outdoor Circle and the Garden Club.
The League continued to rely on the Holiday Ball as its fundraiser until 1966 when it was semi-retired. Subsequent fundraisers were the musical extravaganza, “Hello Honolulu,” netting record profits, followed by “Mayfair”- a “turn of the century Garden Party,” and the Junior League Showhouse in which the former Paul Fagen home on Diamond Head was transformed into a display of the interior decorator’s art and opened to the public. Nineteen sixty-nine saw the return of the Holiday Ball, with the show that had been put on by League members replaced with professional entertainers.
The League actively participated in AJLI with the election of Mimi Donnell as Director of Region XII in 1960, continuing with the election of Ann Simpson to the Regional Nominating Committee in 1966. In 1968, Honolulu again played hostess for the AJLI Regional Meeting.
National trends were reflected in projects selected in the early Seventies with health and welfare concerns dominating. The League participated with other agencies in establishing Hale Kipa, a runaway shelter home, offered volunteers and monetary assistance to the Kailua Drug Clinic, established Kula Kokua, a therapeutic pre-school for emotionally disturbed children in partnership with the Salvation Army, and funded a coordinator of Volunteer Services for the Hawaii School for the Deaf and Blind. Hale Kipa still exists as a separate non-profit organization and Kula Kokua is still run by the Salvation Army.
Trends in projects that both served and educated the community continued as the League progressed through the Seventies. The Honolulu Aquarium received not only educational tools but an in-school marine science program developed and produced by League members. The Hawaii Bound Program, an outgrowth of the Outward Bound Program for Personal Growth through Outdoor Education, also received League support. In the Arts, the League cooperated with the DOE by taking the Artmobile into the public schools for an art enrichment program. By the end of the Seventies, the League was involved in a cooperative effort with the Historic Hawaii Association to conduct a survey designed to Identify buildings in Hawaii suitable for restoration and federal funding.
The concept of advocacy was introduced by AJLI in 1976. Realizing that advocating for children also meant advocating for the family, the League, in co-sponsorship with the University of Hawaii, presented “The Conference on the Family In Hawaii” in March 1978. In recognition of the quality of this conference and the League’s efforts in its preparation and follow-up, Governor George Ariyoshi appointed the Junior League of Honolulu to act as State of Hawaii Coordinator for the White House Conference on Families that was held in 1980. Child and family advocacy continued to be supported by League members training to serve as facilitators between the schools and parents of learning disabled children in the Volunteers in Education Advocacy project in conjunction with the Hawaii Association for Children with Learning Disabilities (HACLD). The Public Affairs Committee wrote a number of position papers, and on several occasions testified at agency or legislative committee hearings on behalf of child abuse prevention, family life education, and a residential facility for emotionally disturbed pre-school children—an outgrowth of the League’s earlier support of Kula Kokua.
The concept of offering training to community organizations came full circle in the Seventies. In 1971, underprivileged participants in the Dr. Eva Shindler Rainman Community Leadership Workshops were given scholarship aid. The following year, in co-sponsorship with the YWCA and Volunteer Service Bureau, two leadership skills workshops were presented, followed by “Pass the Bucks,” a conference on taxes, in cooperation with American Association of University Women (AAUW), Honolulu Community Action Program, League of Women Voters, and Citizens of Hawaii. “Practical Leadership” was explored in 1973 and 1974 in conferences co-sponsored with the YWCA.
In 1979, the League voted to develop a community training project. A community survey was taken to ascertain community needs and the following year a project was designed to offer leadership workshops to non-profit organizations.
Fundraising continued and new ideas were introduced. The second Junior League of Honolulu Showhouse was held and in 1973 the”Golden Anniversary Ball” was presented in the best of the holiday ball tradition celebrating the fifty years of JLH. “Treasure and Trivia,” a sale of boutique and nearly new items was introduced, and the first Auction, held in 1977, was televised, netting $40,000. The 1979 Auction was held at NBC Exhibition Hall, open to the public, and netted $42,000. Three social in-League fundraisers were held in the Seventies: “A Night in aide Honolulu Towne” (1977), a “Disco Party” (1978), and a “Twelfth Night of Christmas” party with an auction of Christmas rejects (1980). The League began to focus on generating income all year round and formed the Cookbook Research Committee to develop a cookbook as an ongoing fundraiser.
Direct involvement in AJLI continued in the Seventies with Alice Ann Rice serving as Chairman of the Regional Nominating Committee and as a member of Test Area Council I, the western unit created to test AJUs restructuring plans. In 1972, Pat Schnack was elected alternate to the Area Nominating Committee. In 1977, Mary Lou Lewis held the position of Chairperson of the Area Nominating Committee, Area VI, and in 1978, she was elected for a two-year term to the AJLI Board as Association Nominating Director. In 1978, Mary Lee Ho was selected to serve as a member of the Area VI council.
In 1973, due to convenience and accessibility concerns, the League moved its Headquarters from the Royal Hawaiian Hotel to the Salvation Army’s Manoa Cottages.
Projects during the Eighties focused on the family, continued the trend toward coalitions and cooperative efforts with outside agencies, and established many services that are now run by the community.
The Family Health Learning Center was completed and turned over to Kapiolani Children’s Medical Center. The Makiki Environmental Education Center changed its name to The Hawaii Nature Center and was turned back to the community in 1987. The League initiated the H.U.G. (Help Us Grow) in-hospital education project and turned it over to Queen’s Medical Center in 1987. The Hawaii Children’s Museum of Art, Science and Technology (now the Children’s Discovery Center) became a separate non-profit in 1989. The League again participated in a project with HACLD.
Training continued within the League and in the community under the umbrella of the training project – the Volunteer Leadership Development Program. Volunteer Career Development (VCD) and Management by Objectives (MBO) became part of the provisional course.
In 1987, a renewed commitment to the community and projects was initiated by the Project Research and Development Committee with an unprecedented acceptance of seven new projects in one year: Action Line, Hale Kipa Independent Living Program, Honolulu Theater for Youth, Prevent Elder Abuse, Special Olympics Fair, Teen Intervention Program, and Turnaround. These projects heightened the League’s visibility in the community along with the development of the AIDS Education Comic Book in 1988 and the League was recognized for its excellent work with the Turnaround project by the Governor’s Council for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect.
Fundraising continued with special events but with the publication of A Taste of Aloha, the League’s cookbook, in 1983, JLH could have income year round. With an initial printing of 20,000 copies, sales grew quickly, and subsequent printings rapidly followed. Gross sales reached close to $100,000 annually and the cookbook was featured nationally in Better Homes and Gardens magazine. In 1987, the League, in conjunction with Liberty House, celebrated the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel with a benefit fashion show, “A Royal Occasion” and the Rummage Sale (Treasure and Trivia) was held for the final time. Stargazing (the Auction) broke the $100,000 net ceiling in 1989.
The League continued its involvement with AJLI. Pat Kay became an Area VI Council member in 1982 and Lila Johnson was elected to a two-year term on the Nominating Committee of Area VI Council in 1987.
A Sustainer of the year award, named after 1933-1934 League President Laura Dowsett, was developed in 1982 to honor a Sustaining member of JLH who personified the ideals of the League by actively volunteering in the community. In 1985, the League was presented the First Lady’s Award as the Outstanding Volunteer Organization.
In the mid-Eighties, the League accommodated trends within its membership, as more members juggled full-time employment, family, and community volunteer commitments. The League sought ways to reduce the time necessary to be a fully participating member, including hiring additional staff with expanded responsibilities to free members for more productive activities.
During this period, the League saw increased Provisional class sizes. In 1983 and 1984, forty-nine and fifty-one Provisionals, respectively, completed the course. In 1987, sixty-eight Provisionals began the year. The bylaws were amended to institute the AJLI policy of non-discriminatory open admissions.
In order to accommodate the emphasis on projects and to provide for leadership succession, the Executive Committee was restructured to include both a President-Elect and a Project Vice President.
In 1985, after twelve years in the Salvation Army location, the League office moved to the AAUW building. The new office accommodated the League’s increased space requirements brought about by the publication of A Taste of Aloha. The League joined the computer age in 1986 with the acquisition of one hard disk and two personal computers which enhanced office operations, record keeping, and correspondence.
The League celebrated its 65th anniversary on October 23, 1989. This event was recognized by AJLI, the Honolulu City Council, the Hawaii State House of Representatives, the Hawaii State Senate, Mayor Frank Fasi, and Governor John Waihee.