The Junior League of San Francisco

Issue 2: January 2014

Foglights Newsletter

Get Ready for the 88th Annual Fashion Show!

by Laurie Brown

Mark your calendars and get ready for the most Infinitely Chic evening! The news you have been waiting for is here. On March 21, The Junior League San Francisco will be hosting their 88th Annual Fashion Show & Black-tie Gala.

The tradition continues, as this year’s event returns to the Fairmont’s Grand Ballroom and promises to be Infinitely Chic, full of excitement, surprises and an exclusive look at what you’ll be wearing this spring! Purchase your tickets online today.

At present, the committee is busy securing donations for the event, everything from beverages to spa packages for the live and silent auctions and they need your help! If you have connections to any of the following, please reach out to us.

Devon DiebelFashion Show Deets with Devon Diebel

by Laurie Brown

In a recent interview with 2013-2014 Fashion Show Chair Devon Diebel, she provided us with some exciting tidbits about Infinitely Chic this year’s Fashion Show and Black-Tie Gala, being held at the very elegant Fairmont Hotel on March 21. Plans for the event are underway, and the evening promises to be filled with excitement, including the continued tradition of Junior League models hitting the catwalk to present spring/summer 2014 ready-to-wear collections.

This is a very exciting year for you, planning one of the League's coveted events. What are some of the challenges in planning an event like this, and how are you meeting the challenges?

I have a great team in place and, with their help, things are running along extremely smoothly. I also just had a baby in December, so I have paced myself during this process. Overall, it’s all coming together and we’re really excited about the show.

What are you hoping to do differently this year that will differ from previous years?

One of the things that we think is most exciting about the evolution of the Fashion Show is that we are now able to curate a wide range of designers for the event, from emerging local designers to established national names.

Who are some of the designers you are hoping to woo for this year's Fashion Show?

We have some great designers who have already signed on to showcase their clothing on the runway! Piperlime will be featuring women's clothing, Brooks Brothers will be outfitting the men, Karen Caldwell will be doing an evening gown segment, and Yael Designs just signed on to be our fine jewelry partner. In addition to these, even more exciting partnerships are in the works!

What goals would you like to accomplish as chair for this year's Fashion Show & Black-Tie Gala?

Our goal is to produce a fabulous show in order to help support the mission of the JLSF, and to provide high-quality training and support to all members of our committee as they learn the mechanics of throwing a fundraiser of this scale.

The deadline for Patrons and Corporate partners to be listed in the Fashion Show event program is Saturday, February 1. Learn more about this year’s Fashion Show and how you can become a partner of this Infinitely Chic event.

Confessions of a Fashion Show Model

by Michelle Tom

Fashion Show tryouts took place on at the Fairmont Hotel on Thursday, January 9. Here's a short interview with one of the potential models.

Why did you decide to tryout as a model?

I have always wanted to tryout for the fashion show, but was too scared to do it. I checked out the fashion show tryouts practice on January 8 to see how intimidating it would be, and capture some tips on how to strut the catwalk. I felt that if I tried out and it did not work out, I would have more practice and experience to tryout next year.

How was your experience?

Surprisingly, it was a fantastic and positive experience! When I walked in, I was immediately welcomed by the fashion show committee, who took my picture, and I filled out some forms. There was cheese and crackers to nibble on. I enjoyed a glass of champagne that eased some of my nerves. I was surprised at how many JLSF members came out to cheer on those trying out.

The veteran models from previous fashion shows first demonstrated and tried out by walking down the carpeted aisle, pausing in front of the judges with a pose, and then walking back down the aisle, turning and posing one final time. I was in the second group of “newbies”, and I basically copied what the veterans had done (with less finesse as I was inexperienced). The whole time I kept telling myself to stay poised, walk slowly, and definitely NOT trip in my high heels.

There was a DJ spinning tunes, so the atmosphere was energized and upbeat. Some more daring models would blow a kiss or kick up a heel at the end of their final pose that was really fun to watch.

What do you have to say to other JLSF members interested in trying out next year?

I highly encourage you to try out. It’s a dream for me to be trained as a model and walk the catwalk with beautifully designed clothes! I had always been really hesitant to tryout, and I had heard stories about negative experiences in the past, but I can say with full confidence that EVERYONE is highly supportive and encouraging. Even the President of JLSF, Jenna Wrobel, and many members of the JLSF board showed up and cheered us on. As I looked around the room, I only saw huge smiles on everyone’s faces.

What’s the worst that can happen? You can always gain experience to tryout in the future and conquer your fears! I met with and talked to some JLSF members I normally would not have chatted with in my everyday life. I was able to confront one of the items on my list of things to overcome due to paralyzing fear, and cross it off my bucket list. If I get chosen to be a model, I will write about my modeling experience in a future Foglights edition.

Take the Cookbook Challenge


Well, ladies, we did it! The Fogcutter Committee cooked the Tomato Tart from the San Francisco Entertains Cookbook during our winter festivities and had a blast. Not only was it easy, it was delicious.

We challenge any and all committees to grab your books, pick a winning recipe and send us a short story and photos of your cooking adventure. We will feature your experience in an upcoming Foglights, so you can show everyone what great chefs you are.

We look forward to seeing your dish in the next Foglights.

Tomato Tart(Serves 4)

  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 4 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, chopped and chilled
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening, chopped and chilled
  • 1/3 cup ice water
  • 6 plum tomatoes, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • Course salt to taste
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Gruyere cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Whisk the whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour in a bowl. Stir in the dried thyme and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cut in the butter and shortening to the consistency of course meal. Add the ice water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing with a fork to form a ball. Press into a disc and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours.

Place the tomato slices on a paper towel and sprinkle with coarse salt; let stand for 30 minutes. Pat dry with paper towels. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees…

If you want the rest of the recipe, you have to buy the book! Trust us, it’s worth it.

Highlights from 2013 General Meetings

by Rebecca Daugherty

An outsider would have thought a celebrity was making an appearance at the Jewish Community Center on October 22 of this past year. However, it was just a bustling group of women waiting for an action-packed General Meeting! For the lucky attendees, the October General Meeting had an impressive line-up of guest speakers.

Nonoko Sato from SMART kicked off the meeting and she enthusiastically explained how SMART supports our local youth in achieving their goals of graduating from high school and going on to higher education. Kathy Baxter and Beverly Upton of the SF Domestic Violence Consortium passionately described the improvement in statistics regarding domestic violence in the Bay Area and their ongoing efforts to combat child sexual abuse. A theme that resonated was the tremendous contributions of the JLSF.

The final speaker was the impressive Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Justice O'Connor graciously walked the attendees through stories about her struggle to gain employment after graduating with accolades from Stanford Law School in a male-dominated field, joining and eventually leading The Junior League of Phoenix, and receiving the destined call from President Ronald Reagan to serve on the Supreme Court. She was engaging, humorous and an amazing storyteller! She exited the meeting with a standing ovation and inspired many women!

Helping Raphael House Ring in the Holidays

by Sindy Craig


The Raphael House Committee regularly volunteers at Raphael House’s weekly and monthly programs which support the their community events, such as Toddler Time, Family Activity Night, Saturday Teen Tutoring and Work Force Development.

JLSF members also helped decorate Raphael House for the holidays during the first week of December and are helping to maintain holiday traditions even when families are in a transitional housing environment.

As families prepared for their celebrations, the committee helped them decorate their stockings for Christmas and adopted a family for the holidays! The committee members’ personally purchased and wrapped gifts the holidays for a single mother and her five children. See photos here (hyperlink to the photos). The entire committee also participated in and celebrated with a December gift-wrapping party. The group added smiles where there may have not been any.

Conversations from SMART: Phone-a-thon October 10


As Bay Area high school juniors and seniors gear up for a new school year in September of last year, members of the JLSF SMART committee were starting their first one-on-ones with their high school mentees.

Elizabeth Zeiter, a third-year active, is mentoring Emerson Herrera, a junior at International High School. This past September, Emerson gave a speech at the JFK50: Justice For All event, addressing a crowd of 350 attendees. He spoke about the importance of a good education, how often-marginalized populations often have limited access to post-high school educational opportunities, and how programs like SMART help students achieve their educational goals. Because of programs like SMART, today he is a proud, college-bound student.

Emerson received a standing ovation from the entire crowd including the panelists:

  • Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State,
  • Thurgood Marshall Jr., former Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court,
  • Jason Collins, NBA player and Stanford All- American,
  • Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court,
  • William H. Swanson, Raytheon Chairman and CEO, and
  • John Yang, a Peabody Award-winning correspondent with NBC News

In addition to helping Emerson prepare his speech, Elizabeth gave him emotional and moral support by attending the event, listening to the speech, and helping him make it through the big night.

Festive Fun at the Pomeroy Pumpkin Outing

by Christina Torres


This year, the Pomeroy Recreation & Rehabilitation Center (PRRC) committee has implemented “Field Trips,” where two committee members pair up and plan an outing for PRRC clients. Their aim is to schedule a trip once a month, and in October of 2013, the committee had their first outing to Clancy’s pumpkin patch for some pre-Halloween fun. They held two trips: one with adult clients in the morning and another with kids in the afternoon. Each client was able to pick out a pumpkin for the season’s enjoyment.

Foodie Events from La Cocina

by Tiffani Brownley-Meijer

During the weekend of August 16 last year, La Cocina held their 2nd Annual Night Market fundraiser and their 5th annual Street Food Festival. Rooted in celebrating food cultures from around the world, the Night Market transported us to a street party on the other side of the globe. The stalls and open area of Alemany Market provided a lovely backdrop to food, drinks, bar games, and live music. The community “feel” of the event was apparent, as volunteers from not only JLSF, but also several other companies, worked side-by-side to transform Alemany Market into a festive marketplace that buzzed with energy. The crowd noshed on bites that were lovingly prepared and served by celebrity chefs and from La Cocina's own local entrepreneurs.

Check out the photos from Snapfiesta Photo Booth that night!

Two Cocktails to Toast to Winter

by Laurie Brown

The winter is here for some of us, especially for our friends on the east coast. What better way to say “Cheers!” to your family and guests than to greet them with some hot spiced wine or a Japanese Ginger Au Lait, to ease the chill of winter?

The recipes shared here can be found in the San Francisco Entertains cookbook, courtesy of the Merchandising committee. Purchase a cookbook for yourself or as a gift for someone else.

Hot Spiced Wine

  • Peel from 1 orange, cut into strips
  • 1 8-inch cinnamon stick, lightly crushed
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 750-milliliter bottle dry red wine
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup blanched almonds

Special Equipment: Cheesecloth, kitchen twine

Prepare two 6- or 8-inch squares of cheesecloth for the spice bag. Layer the cheesecloths and place the orange peel, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom in the center. Bring up the corners of the cheesecloth to enclose the spices and secure with kitchen twine. Combine the spice bag with the wine, raisins, and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring just to a simmer over medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes; do not allow to boil. Remove and discard the spice bag. Stir in the almonds just before serving.

Japanese Ginger Au Lait

  • ½ cup of boiling water
  • 1 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 shots espresso1 tablespoon simple syrup or sugar
  • ½ cup of steamed milk

Special Equipment: milk frother

Pour the boiling water over the ginger in a large heat-resistant glass. Steep for five minutes or longer; longer steeping increases the strength of the tea. Strain the tea into two coffee cups. Stir one shot of espresso into each cup. Combine the simple syrup with the milk and froth with a milk frother until warm. Pour into the cups and serve warm.