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Bronxville Junior League Brings Joy to Kids

BRONXVILLE, N.Y. – Bronxville resident Lisa Barr has something in common with Eleanor Roosevelt, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Margaret Hamilton, best known for her role as the Wicked Witch of the West in "The Wizard of Oz." All four women have spent time as volunteers in the Junior League.

The Junior League has its roots at the turn of the century New York City. Starting in 1901, women grouped together as volunteers and tried to find ways to improve conditions for other women and children.

Now the 351 women in the Bronxville Junior League are carrying on that tradition. Under the leadership of committee co-chairs Rosalia Nocerino and Erica Sevilla, members of the club have created the Back-pack Buddies program. As part of the initiative, the ladies fill bags with healthy snacks and bring them to families, usually through schools.

In addition, the women are spending time with school childen, teaching them the benefits of healthy eating.

"That's the best part of it for us" said Nocerino. "We interact with the kids and parents, and we get to get those great big hugs from the kids."

Nocerino and a group of Junior Leaguers traveled Friday to St. Peter's Child Care Center, a NAEYC accredited program for kids, which is located on Hawthorne Avenue in Yonkers.

"We made skeletons out of fresh vegetables and the kids were having a great time gobbling them up," Nocerino said.

Sevilla led the group with a round of monster freeze tag. "They were all dancing around, and acting like monsters, and we got to show them a fun way to exercise."

Barr brought her 11-year-old daughter Haley, to the event.

"I think it is important for her to know that not everyone has enough food to eat and nor do they get to enjoy the privileges that others have." Barr said.

Program Director Jacqueline Pezzullo said she and her staff are grateful that the women took the time to volunteer at her school, which serves children from ages 2.9 years to five years old

"The kids really enjoyed having the volunteers in the classroom," Pezzullo said. "It was great that they taught nutrition in a fun way.”

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