COPR Community Networking Event

Come network with community non-profit organizations and agencies and learn about partnering with Junior League of Annapolis, Inc.

Starting October 2017, JLA’s Community Outreach and Project Research (COPR) Committee will host a series of events to engage potential partners, connect with like-minded organizations, and answer questions, including a networking event on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at Blackwall Hitch, and a Request for Application (RFA) Workshop in November 2017.  For further information on upcoming events, JLA partnership or the application process, please email and include your organization’s name and contact information.

October 11, 2017

5-7 pm

Blackwall Hitch

400 6th Street, Annapolis, MD

See associated flyer for additional details.

What Wear Where: Our 35th Anniversary Gala

Contributed by Hallie Salmi

You’ve snagged tickets to the hottest event of gala season and now to plan your outfit. Dress code is Black Tie Optional. Outstanding. Wait. But what does that even mean?! Here are some simple tips to have you the belle of ball in no time.

Black Tie, while acceptable, is not required.

Black Tie is a dress code that defines and events formality. For men, the traditional tuxedo, with a white show, bow tie, dress socks and shoes, and an optional cummerbund or vest.

(Photo credit: Men’s Wearhouse)

For women, it is the traditional full length gown.

(Photo Credit: Nordstrom)

Putting The Options in Optional

For Women:

Cocktail is appropriate: Cocktail attire is festive and fun, but not formal. An elegant party dress, typically knee length, and a killer pair of heels.

(Photo Credit: Rent the Runway)

Mind Your Hemline: Be modest. This is not the occasion for the mini dress. If you choose above the knee, go two inches above, max. If you stand with hands at your sides, your dress shouldn’t be shorter than your fingertips.

Go Hi-Low: One of the hottest looks this season is the hi-low hemline and it is absolutely appropriate for black tie optional.

(Photo Credit: Rent the Runway)

Drop It Like It’s Hot: Your hemline that is. Don’t forget about tea length dresses. The perfect sweet spot between knee length and floor length gown. Traditionally, tea length hits mid-calf.

(Photo Credit: Neiman Marcus)

LBD = BFF: Your LBD (little black dress) is your go to dress. Choose richer fabrics like lace, chiffon and velvet to boost the typical black.

Color Your World: Don’t feel like you need to limit yourself to just black: jewel tones, icy pastels and large prints are also acceptable.

Don’t Fear the Sequins: Sequins and beads aren’t reserved for black and white tie. Embrace them head to toe. But if you fear you might resemble a walking disco ball, use sparingly. Opt for a sequin top, beaded skirt, sparkly heels or bag.

Think Outside the Dress: You can branch out into dressy separates as well. Tulle skirts, taffeta and brocade topped with a beaded shell, a sheer top or an elegant blouse.

Wear the Pants: You heard me, pants. Pants can be formal. To avoid appearing overly casual, lean towards a pant suit. If separates are your game, mind your fabrics. Gravitate for the richer fabrics. Brocade, silk and velvet will have a dressier vibe.

(Photo Credit: Rent the Runway)

Fancy Feet: Keep your office pumps under your desk. An evening shoe is appropriate. Metallic, jeweled, and straps are always sure-fire winners. Avoid flats and wedges. If feats of great heights in heels aren’t your thing, select for a kitten heel.

K.I.S.S.: Keep It Simple Stupid. Don’t be tempted by over edgy trends and over the top designs. Stick with a column dress or A-line. Be wary of trains, fish tails and body hugging styles. Not only will you be physically uncomfortable but you run the risk of injury (think high heel in hemline) or an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction.

Ice Ice Baby: Accessorize. Have fun here. Remember, you can be too sparkly. If your dress has a lot of bling, keep the jewelry modest. If you’ve opted for a more reserved dress, bling it up. Add a dramatic necklace or dangling earrings, but never BOTH. Watches are a no-no in formal situations (yes, even a Rolex). And don’t forget your evening bag; a hard-sided metallic bag can be dressed up or down. A beaded or jeweled bag can add some flair to a solid dress.

For Men:

Suit Up: Go with a dark color; navy or charcoal gray is a nice alternative to black.

(Photo Credit: Macy’s)

Be a Cut Above: You want your suit to be well-fitted. Dashing and timeless. A toned-down version of a tux. Those elements will be what takes you out of the boardroom and on the town.

Simple Finishes: White shirt, a dark tie and black dress shoes (with a presentable shine).

Push the Limits: If you want to be a little more daring, go with a black out. Black suit, shirt and tie. Have your tie match your lady’s dress.

Bows on Beaus: You do not need to be in a tux to wear a bow tie. Patterns can be a fun away too show a glimpse into your personality. But learn how to tie it – no clip-ons!

Don’t miss out on this historic event! For more information about the JLA 35th Anniversary Gala and to purchase tickets, please visit:

For more Gala looks, check out our Pinterest page:

From Webmaster to the Board: A look at a President’s Award Recipient One Year Later

Contributed by Kayla Gaydosh, a reluctant outgoing Webmaster and excited incoming Secretary.

A year ago I received the Junior League of Annapolis President’s Award, also known as the “Just Do It!” Award, which is given to an Active member for her outstanding level of volunteer service that league year.

You might think, in a league whose mission is to promote volunteerism and improve the community, I would have done a lot of community service to be given such an award. But I didn’t. I won the President’s Award for jumping into a recently vacated role, with no prior experience or skillset for that role, in the middle of the league year. I never looked back! That’s when I learned Junior League is not just about the volunteer community service.

In fact, I never considered myself as someone who likes to do community service. Maybe it’s my shy introverted nature. Honestly, I joined the League to make friends, at a time when I desperately needed some friends—I was going through a divorce in a town where I had no family and friends of my own.

I wasn’t sure how I’d like the volunteering part, but the great part about the Junior League is that to be considered a “good volunteer” doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be consistently outdoing yourself on community service. We volunteer our time, our skills, our ideas, and usually a little bit of our money.

My volunteer efforts were concentrated on a new website that had been implemented only a half a year earlier. No one was used to it yet. I knew nothing about managing a website or creating webpages. I was given about an hour of training over wine, chips and salsa—then was told, “You’re an engineer, you’ll be great!”

I took it one day at a time. One Digital Cheetah tutorial at a time. One member request at a time. The best way to figure out how to manage a website is to let it run you for a while. The tasks will find you. Sometimes they are a steady trickle—other times they’re like a firehose. From calendar event dilemmas to tracking ticket sales, you never knew what awaits in the webmaster inbox. At times, I felt like the glue that held the league together. I enjoyed it—challenges and all! And thus, I decided to stay on as webmaster another year.

The great part about being webmaster is you interact with a lot of different members, different committees, and different leadership roles. You are not confined to the Communications Council and External Communications committee bubble. Plus, you get to be the interface between the League and the Digital Cheetah admin/IT support. Not only did I learn new technical skills, but I learned management and leadership skills. Skills that I can transfer to other areas of life. Skills that I can grow upon while in a leadership position!

I learned how a website works. I learned how Junior League works.

And as luck would have it, fate has struck again. Another vacancy has popped up unexpectedly, and now I find myself sitting on the Board of Directors as the incoming JLA Secretary. When it comes to Junior League, you never know where you’ll end up or what opportunity will be presented next!


Kayla Gaydosh is heading into her fourth year with the Junior League of Annapolis. She served as Webmaster from October 2015 to May 2017. She will take on the Secretary role for the 2017-2018 league year. She is currently a Reliability & Maintainability Engineer with the Navy. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Physics and Astronomy from Bryn Mawr College and a Master of Science in Systems Engineering from the University of Maryland. Originally from Western Pennsylvania, she now lives in Annapolis with her crazy calico cat, Machka.



(ANNAPOLIS, MD) Junior League of Annapolis, Inc. (JLA) is searching for its next three-year partnership with a community organization or governmental agency that has or is developing a project that will meet our community’s needs and align with the league’s issue and focus area.   The JLA’s current issue area is “Narrowing the Achievement Gap” with a specific focus on the Self-Sufficiency of Women and Children.  As partners, JLA and the selected organization will jointly develop and design the program that would define and foster true collaboration.  In addition, JLA will provide trained volunteers for the developed program and provide JLA funds of up to $5,000 annually to successfully implement and advance the project over a three-year period.  

Non-profit organizations, governmental agencies, and other community organizations with projects that serve the Anne Arundel County community and align with JLA’s issue and focus areas are encouraged to submit an application.  Application packets will be available on October 11, 2017 online at  Completed applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, by emailing to or by mail at 128 Lubrano Drive, Suite L-101, Annapolis, MD 21401 by January 10, 2018.  JLA will review all applications in January 2018, with the selected project commencing in June 2018.  

Starting October 2017, JLA’s Community Outreach and Project Research (COPR) Committee will host a series of events to engage potential partners, connect with like-minded organizations, and answer questions, including a networking event on Wednesday, October 11, 2017 and a Request for Application (RFA) Workshop in November 2017.  For further information on upcoming events, JLA partnership or the application process, please email and include your organization’s name and contact information.


Junior League of Annapolis, Inc. is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Our membership of over three hundred women strives to narrow the achievement gap in Anne Arundel County, MD with a specific focus on the self-sufficiency of women and children.


Download the official press release here.

JLA 35th Anniversary Gala Sponsors

JLA is proud to honor the following organizations for their commitment and dedication to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the local community that we serve:

$5000+  Sponsor

$100+ Sponsor

Environmental Auto Services
Severna Park Autobody

In-Kind Donors

Galway Bay
The Honey Hive – Cakes by Rachael
Iron Rooster
Karen Wilder Events
Kirsten’s Cakery
Ledo Pizza Annapolis
Luna Blu
Metropolitan Kitchen & Lounge
Mother’s Penninsula Grille
Nando’s Peri Peri Annapolis
Virgil Stephens Photography
Whole Foods Market