Jen Smith Living Legendary Award

jen smithJennifer Arnold Smith, who joined JLCU in the summer of 2002, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 at the age of 30. Jen always had a zest for life and a desire to help others. She used her own personal story to educate others by helping to launch the Champaign-Urbana affiliate of Young Survival Coalition; by speaking at high school and college classes as well as national conferences; by writing a blog in addition to two books, Learning to Live Legendary and What You Might Not Know: My Life as a Stage IV Cancer Patient; and by mentoring many women one-to-one through Imerman Angels. Jen passed away on September 28, 2013, at the age of 36.  She was a loving mother, professional, friend, daughter, aunt, advocate, and so much more.  The Jen Smith Living Legendary Award was created to celebrate her passion and compassion: she taught us how to live life to its fullest in spite of tragic circumstances.

Who is eligible to be a Jen Smith Living Legendary recipient?

This award is given to any member, active or sustaining, or community partner who demonstrated that they are “living legendary” while being an advocate for a cause that betters the welfare of women and their community.

What is the criteria for nomination?

This award is intended for a member or community partner who:

  • is a community minded woman, including individuals who identify as a women, who does not let life define her by her cause but by the education she provides on behalf of the cause she fights for;
  • is dedicated to educating the community on a specific cause or civic issue;
  • is committed to family, friends, and her community;
  • lives the mission of JLCU through her actions and service;
  • and inspires women to reach their dreams with courage, strength and love for others.

How do I submit a nomination?

Any Junior League member or a member of the community can submit a nomination. Nominations open in Spring 2024. Nominations should describe as specifically as possible how the nominee exhibits the qualities of Living Legendary.  The award will be presented at the Annual Meeting in May.

Click here for the Nomination Form.

Past Recipients:

  • 2023- Imani Harrison
  • 2022- Julie Pryde
  • 2021 – Cynthia Bruno and Kelly O’Neill
  • 2020 – Andrea Rundell
  • 2019 – Sally Carter
  • 2018- Gina Lee-Olukoya
  • 2017 – Jacquelyn Monroe-McMullen
  • 2016 – Beverley Baker
  • 2015 – Page Parkhill

Community Impact Partner Award

This award is given to a community partner who helps support one of our community outreach projects.

Past Winners:

  • 2023: The Robert Grossman Trust
  • 2018-2019: PNC Bank
  • 2017-2018: University of Illinois Rowing
  • 2016-2017: Urbana Early Childhood School
  • 2015-2016: That’s What She Said
  • 2014-2015: McGladrey
  • 2013-2014: ACCO Brands for their support of Junior League Locker

Mission Partner Award

This award is given to a JLCU community partner who exemplifies our Mission within Champaign-Urbana.

Past Winners:

  • 2021-2022: Kristin Darling Photography
  • 2020-2021: Hilton Garden Inn
  • 2019-2020: Two Men And A Truck
  • 2018-2019: Gies College of Business at the University of Illinois
  • 2017-2018: Clark Lindsey
  • 2016-2017: Busey Bank
  • 2014-2015: Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club
  • 2013-2014: CarX Tire & Auto