By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Marlborough – Now in its second year, the Marlborough Juniorettes is a youth group open to eighth- to 12th-grade girls with an interest in performing community service. While their efforts continue to benefit local causes, they’ve also recently reached out to Juniorettes affected by the fatal shootings at high schools in Kentucky and Florida.
Sponsored by the Marlborough Junior Woman’s Club (MJWC), the local Juniorettes are learning the value of volunteerism expounded by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC). Serving as advisor since the Marlborough Juniorettes’ inception in October 2016 is MJWC member Beth McKeon, a middle and high school teacher in Worcester.
“As a teacher and volunteer, I’m really passionate about helping them learn how to put themselves out there and help the community,” she said. “Being involved in an organization like GFWC, they can see the state, national and international levels, and how you can help in every single level. You don’t have to be an adult to help your community and make the world a better place; they can do it as well as we can.”
In their first year, the Marlborough Juniorettes’ officers were Marlborough High School (MHS) class of 2017 members Molly Farrell, president; Casey Sibole, vice president; Victoria Breitenfeld, treasurer; and Claire Cargill, secretary.
Now, the group consists of 16 MHS students from grades nine to 11. Serving as officers since September 2017 are MHS sophomores Caitlyn Geary, president; Tess LeDuc, vice president; Emma Hennessey, secretary; and junior Jessica Jensen, treasurer.
“The group started with daughters of MJWC members wanting to form their own club,” McKeon explained. “It makes sense that if your parents are community involved, then you’ll get into volunteering as well. They just started their first campaign, putting fliers around MHS, trying to get more members and a range of students outside of their circle.”
The Marlborough Juniorettes began 2018 by creating and sending greeting cards to comfort Juniorettes members who attend high schools in Benton, Ky., and Parkland, Fla. – each a site of fatal shootings in recent months. Among those taking part in the service project was the local Juniorettes President Caitlyn Geary, daughter of current MJWC President Brenda Geary.
Caitlyn said, “We wanted to let them know that we’re here for them. They can call us if they need us.”
Local Juniorettes also raised funds by selling dog treats this past November at the MJWC’s annual Holiday Shopping Boutique at the Marlborough Country Club. Material for handmade blankets was purchased with some of the funds. Blankets were donated to the Fresh Start Furniture Bank in Hudson, which provides free furniture and home goods to people in need.
“They were so grateful for us bringing them the blankets,” Caitlyn relayed. “Seeing their faces was awesome.”
Caitlyn plans to join the MJWC after graduating from MHS.
“No amount of volunteering is enough,” she said. “I always feel like I can do more.”
Creating a website for Marlborough Juniorettes is in the works. In the meantime, information can be requested at marlboroughjuniors.org.