Sustainer Impact

The Role of a Sustainer in the Junior League

A Sustainer is a member of the Junior League who after having completed the minimum eight-year training program within Junior League of Eastern Fairfield County (JLEFC) is eligible to become a Sustaining Member. A Sustainer in good standing is obligated to pay dues but she is not required to attend meetings or perform volunteer service within the Active Junior League programs. However, for many JLEFC members, transitioning from Active to Sustainer status marks not the end of their commitment to the League and the community they serve – but rather a “new beginning.” Our Sustainers remain actively involved in League work, by having their own committee, publishing monthly newsletters, serving as advisors on Active committees, helping mentor our League’s Board of Directors, coordinating “Cook and Feed” projects and engaging in fundraising.  In addition to the League projects, the Sustainer membership remains closely connected through a host of fun social events such as book groups, bridge tournaments and luncheons.

The JLEFC recognizes the enormous talent and mentorship we have right here in our own community and value the involvement of our Sustainers. Our Sustainer body serves as mentors to the Provisional and Active members of the League, and are a valuable source of support and inspiration to the League as a whole.  Sustainer Advisors serve on each committee within the Active membership, and provide support by:

  • Acting as consultants to each committee
  • Offering wisdom and perspective from their own League experiences
  • Supporting each committee (but not making committee decisions), including attending committee meetings and gatherings

Many of our Sustainers started as volunteers in the Junior League and go on to serve as leaders in other charity organizations in the greater community.  They take what they have learned out into the community and demonstrate the effectiveness of trained volunteers on community boards of directors, on school boards, in elected office and on a variety of community, school and church activities within their area of interest.


  • Phyllis Marsilius Co-Chair
  • Carol Shear, Co-Chair
  • Melissa Clear – Sustainer Director/Board of Directors
  • Helaine Davis
  • Ellen Maxwell
  • Gail Usher
  • Sam Collin
  • Elizabeth Buccellato
  • Kristen Frame
  • Kathy Mettler


Sustainers participate in social events throughout the year, including gathering for dinners, movies, documentary showings, and events of interest for the group.

Annual social events include the Fall Cocktail Party, December Holiday Luncheon, and Spring Luncheon.

Sustainer Salon

The JLEFC Sustainer Salon is reminiscent of European 17/18th century salons, where people “gathered under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation.” Dates for fall salons to be listed soon.

Book Groups

Tuesday Group – Normally meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 10:00 a.m. 

This group is inviting new members.  For more information, contact Phyllis Marsilius.

Thursday Group – Meets on the fourth Thursday of the month at 9:30 a.m. 

This group is at capacity with one on the waiting list.  For more information contact Joyce Miller.

Bridge Marathon

Each year the Sustainers participate in a Bridge Marathon.