Women Creating Better Communities

President's Perspective

A message from Betsy Holleman

As we prepare to begin a new league year, I am excited and optimistic of the change that can be made in Bristol through the Junior League.  From focuses on literacy to feeding those in need in our region, the Junior League works to improve our community one project at a time.  I am extremely excited and motivated to create change in Bristol and our surrounding areas.

One thing I have always been amazed by in the Tri Cities alone is the community connection.  Our people are giving, empathetic and ready to see real change happen in our own backyards.  Community projects led by the Junior League do just that!  Our Little Free Library locations offer the opportunity to read to many who don't have home libraries.

The Read Across America program specifically targets elementary students and challenges them to not only read more but enjoy reading!  Our hats off to Dr. Seuss for setting the tone long ago.  Thanksgiving Baskets and the Spring Food Drive focus on the vast food insecurity in Bristol.  Hard to believe...but we live in an area with much need, and the Junior League is focused on filling the gaps to help the least of these.​​

In November, we will host the Bargain Bonanza to raise funds for our community and signature projects.  The Bargain Bonanza is a flea market on steroids with hidden gems and timeless items from our own active members, provisionals and sustainers.  It is always a huge success, and I'm excited to see the event continue to grow.  

We will hold our first general meeting in August, and I look forward to seeing the women who pour their hearts into serving others.  Our Provisional Social will also be held in August as we share what Junior League is and why other women should join our cause.  Junior League is simply an avenue to serve others and meet like-minded women - as we create change...together.  

I'm honored to serve the League as President this year and pray that God moves among our League to spread the love of Jesus around Bristol and our entire region.  

God bless,  



Join Us!

"Since it's inception in 1901, there have been many misconceptions about the Junior League. And okay, some of them have been true at points in the organization's history, but almost all of them are silly at this date and time. 

So let's chat about what the Junior League actually does and why you might consider joining or supporting it." 

-This Custom Life

Check out this *awesome* article  written by a Junior League of Washington, DC Past-President...

Eight Reasons You Should Join (or support) 

The Junior League

....then email for more info on how to join! 


2018-2019 Project Spotlight

 The Junior League of Bristol, in conjunction with the Bristol, VA Parks & Recreation Department has approved our community project for the 2018-2019 League Year - a sensory board at Sugar Hollow Park in Bristol, VA. In previous years, playground equipment has been donated by the Junior League of Bristol at Sugar Hollow Park, and the addition of a sensory board and panels not only provides safe and stimulating play for children with special needs, but appeals to children of all ages. 

We are excited to begin working on construction of this project with our anticipated completion date scheduled for Spring/Summer 2019. 

To donate to the Junior League of Bristol's 2018-2019 League Year Project, please contact us.

You can also mail donations to:

Junior League of Bristol TN/VA, Inc. 

P.O. Box 1448

 Bristol, VA 24203.

Sugar hollow Park Gets New Equipment DONATED

Thank you to WJHL and Kristen Gallant for spreading the word about the new addition to Sugar Hollow Park! We are thankful to everyone who made this possible!

Junior League of Bristol TN/VA

  What is the Junior League of Bristol?

On February 18, 1948, 25 women gathered in the living room of a Bristol, Tennessee, home and discussed what they could do to make a difference in our community. They agreed that through their interests in social, economic, educational, cultural and civic conditions, they could make a difference through volunteerism. Thus the birth of Border Guild, Incorporated.

After applying to the national Association of Junior Leagues organization and completing extensive interviews and reviews, the Border Guild Charter was amended on January 30, 2018, and was renamed the Junior League of Bristol, Tennessee-Virginia, Incorporated. 

This corporation is an organized not for profit (501(c)(3), and the purposes for which it is formed are:

To foster interest and prepare its members for intelligent citizenship through volunteer services and education in social, economic, educational, cultural, civic and welfare fields and to make efficient their volunteer service; specifically, to promote voluntarism, to develop the potential of its members for voluntary participation in community affairs, and to demonstrate the effectiveness of trained volunteers.

Since its founding in 1901 by social activist Mary Harriman, The Association of Junior Leagues International has evolved into one of the oldest, largest, and most effective women's volunteer organizations in the world, encompassing more than 140,000 women in 291 Leagues in four countries.

In 2019, the Junior League of Bristol celebrated its 71st birthday!

Border Guild, Inc. Charter Members:

Jean Atrim, Polly Bridges, Nina S. Burke, Betty Brown Caldwell, Elizabeth Wall Cash, Charlotte Crenshaw, Marjorie Freels, Emalee Caldwell Godsey, Anne Goodpasture, Roasalie Hairston, Julia V. Harkrader, Louise Harkrader, Anne Hillman, Melissa Horton, Bette Hutcheon, Anne Hill Kelly, Jean Walker King,  Lucy King, Louise Martin , Jean Boyd McIntyre, Margaret Parks, Nancy Jane Parks, Lucille W. Perkins, Evelyn Stant, Mary Widener

As more and more women moved to the Bristol area from cities that offered a Junior League, more interest in joining the Association of Junior Leagues was evident.

Thirty-two years and millions of volunteer hours later, Border Guild, Inc. became the 239th League of the Association of Junior Leagues International on February 25, 1980.

Eventually, all area Tri-Cities formed Junior Leagues.

Since becoming the Junior League of Bristol, we have grown exponentially and carried on the dreams of those 25 visionary women. Join us in furthering this legacy in Bristol TN/VA for years to come!

In the News

Junior League Food Drive Benefits Second Harvest, 

Feeding America Southwest Virginia

March 1, 2019

KINGSPORT - The Junior Leagues of Kingsport, Bristol, and Johnson City will hold their 29th annual food drive at local Food City locations Saturday to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee and Feeding America Southwest Virginia.  



Junior League of Bristol uses Little Free Libraries to aid new Literacy Campaign June 30, 2018

Thanks to participation in an innovative program promoting literacy, the Junior League of Bristol has joined with the Bristol, Tennessee City schools and members of a local Boy Scout troop to get more books in the hands of potential readers.

Known as the Little Free Library project, the program promotes a love of books and reading by getting written works into the hands of as many readers as possible.



Caterpillar Crawl

 Explore Bristol!

The Caterpillar Crawl is a permanent scavenger hunt located in downtown Bristol and is based on the children's book, A Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. Bronze sculptures, designed by local artist Val Lyle, are "hidden" along State Street. The brochure with clues can be found below, at the Bristol Chamber of Commerce, or the Bristol Public Library Children's area. 

Caterpillar Crawl Brochure (pdf)