Barrington Junior Women’s Club Celebrates 80 years

For generations, Barrington Junior Women’s Club (BJWC) has been known to help women and families connect


story by Lisa Stamos | Photography by Linda M. Barrett

Barrington Junior Women’s club recently hosted its annual Fall Fashion Show, Diamonds & Pearls, for a crowd of 425 guests from the greater Barrington area. The event is always great fun and one of the best social events of the year. The proceeds from the fundraiser—a total of $95,000—will go directly toward local grants to charities and nonprofits, as well as six Barrington High School merit-based scholarships.

For generations, Barrington Junior Women’s Club (BJWC) has been known to help women and families connect, offer an organized schedule of volunteer activities, and for some, provide leadership opportunities. Yet the club is also an army of volunteers, helping deliver meals, volunteering at local events, and spearheading exciting recreational developments; this year, the club helped a new Splashpad project gather the necessary momentum and funding to be built.

BJWC has created some of the area’s most endearing and helpful traditions, like Safety Town, a two-week educational summer program for children. Safety Town participants learn important safety lessons through hands-on activities and demonstrations. During the two-week session, children attend classes Monday through Friday for two and a half hours each day at the Orchard Church in Barrington. It’s a rite of passage for many Barrington families with young children.

Below, hear directly from three important Barrington nonprofits that directly benefit from the tremendous fundraising and volunteer capabilities of BJWC.

Happy 80th Anniversary to Barrington Junior Women’s Club!

Barrington Youth and Family Services

Rita Rippentrop, Executive Director

BJWC Helps Fund: Interpersonal Relationship and Violence Prevention Programs

BJWC support affords BYFS the opportunity to train our staff, so that our team is well-versed with best practices around domestic violence, sexual assault, and interpersonal aggression. BYFS has a women’s support group available for women experiencing interpersonal violence, as well as offer individual therapy for anyone who has experienced some type of trauma. BYFS professionals are available to provide community awareness events as requested.


Kathleen Recchia, Director of Patient and Family Support Services

BJWC Helps Fund: Camp Courage

Camp Courage is a week-long day camp for children ages 8-13 who are grieving the loss of a loved one. For 22 years, Camp Courage has provided a safe, supportive, and fun environment for over 550 children, at no cost to their families. Children learn to express and explore their feelings through art projects, music, team building activities, and remembrance projects, while also participating in “camp” activities like swimming, rock climbing and boating. The children also gain valuable coping skills to help them in their everyday life.

Camp Courage offers children a place to be with other kids that understand what they are thinking and feeling. The children are able to come together and share an understanding with others who have experienced the loss of someone they love, discovering they are not alone in how they feel.

In 2016, Camp Courage was held July 11-15 at YMCA Camp Duncan in Ingleside, Ill., serving 36 campers. Thanks to the ongoing generosity of the Barrington Junior Women’s Club, JourneyCare can continue to offer Camp Courage to children grieving the loss of a loved one at no cost.

Barrington Area Council on Aging

Joyce Palmquist, Executive Director

BJWC Volunteers: Members of BJWC volunteer to deliver home-delivered meals once a month. They sponsor an annual, free luncheon for the seniors called “Spring Fling.” They have been doing this for over 20 years.

Historically, they have provided financial support for meals with wheels, the lunch program, caregiver education and support, and the day respite program. They also give us Jewel gift cards in December to pass on to needy seniors who live in the area.

The Barrington Junior Women’s Club has helped support the Barrington Area Council on Aging and the community’s elderly for over 20 years. Because of BJWC’s generosity, BACOA has been able to provide everything from added caregiver support to financial resources to assist some of the community’s more needy elderly.

Over the years, BJWC has provided funding for BACOA’s Meals with Wheels program, its congregate lunch program, and caregiver support programs, which includes education classes and its day respite program. BJWC’s support of BACOA’s day respite program has been greatly appreciated, since in addition to offering a much needed break to family caregivers, it also provides the needed socialization to those with mild cognitive-related issues and those with physical-related challenges. The program was recently expanded from eight days monthly to 11 days monthly in response to the need. Without BJWC and other generous organizations, BACOA would not be able to perform needed programs, activities, and services. BJWC is a valued BACOA advocate.