Thank You, Junior League of Columbia, South Carolina!

Ever since Emily Brady Bedenbaugh surprised me in front of some of the leaders of the Junior League of Columbia, I’ve tried to think of something appropriate to say (type) about my relationship with this organization, and how thankful I am.

Facebook sent me the image above of a Holiday Market from nine years ago.

If you know my story, it’s not an easy relationship to explain. If I had a Facebook status with the Junior League of Columbia, “Married, In a Relationship, & Its Complicated,” would all apply.

As I think of it, friends and even folks I don’t know often ask or say, “What’s this thing you have with the Junior League?” or “Can you do this with us?… Like you do with the Junior League?”

Here’s the rub: Folks think I/we just give cups and money.


My relationship with JLC is something that has grown organically, over time.

I’ve cleaned out hoarder houses, nailed boards to Habitat Homes, served spaghetti, read to kids, helped set up Holiday Market, broken down Holiday Market, secured Mr. Friendly’s and Starbucks, et al, as asked, have been Santa Claus for five or so years, and have made lifelong friends as a result of being involved with the JLC.

I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’, (and without getting too deep in the weeds), my relationship with the Junior League of Columbia has been one of the personal and professional pleasures of my life. Truth told, to me, our relationship has become a life achievement thing. I don’t want to be cheezy here, but the fact that we can even donate this amount of time and/or treasure to a philanthropic entity is, IMO, a good story. I shake my head often as I’m proud of what our team has done and is doing.

I’m trying to find the words, but can’t think of what to type about how Jennifer, Amanda, Elizabeth, and Amy enough to thank them for making this relationship happen.

To bring this full circle, the pic above is of Jennifer’s goddaughter, Landon Denemark, and my godson, Reid Denemark nine years ago. Thank you, Facebook.

Recognize that Santa?


Franklin Jones

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