OVILLA – With summer over, and fall activities gearing up, Jo Ann Graham, spokesperson for the Ovilla Service League, says the organization’s first meeting of the new season will be at 7 p.m. Sept. 11 at 610 Creek View Circle in Ovilla.
Everyone is invited, she says, because the group is actively seeking new members.
“There are no requirements to join and no dues or membership fees,” Graham says. “Everyone is invited. To remain on the active roster members must participate in or attend at least two events or meetings per year.”
Currently the Ovilla Service League has approximately 30 active members “all of whom are female,” Graham says adding “However, the spouses of these members play an important part in making our events successful and actively participate in many of the events. We welcome male and female members of any age.”
The current members range in from 30 to 80 years old.
At recent summer picnic, the Ovilla Service League gathered a large quantity of backpacks and school supplies for North Ellis County Outreach to distribute to needy children in the area.
“We collected over 20 backpacks at the picnic and many, many school supplies to fill them with,” Graham said. “The picnic is actually a dinner held in the evening that most members and their spouses and guests attended. The highlight of the picnic is a delicious potluck supper. This year we featured the famous OSL spaghetti dinner, followed by a cutthroat bingo game. Of course, the real highlight is the donation of backpacks and school supplies that were donated to North Ellis County Outreach.”
For the 2014-15 year the Service League has a number of projects upcoming like supporting Ovilla's Police and Fire Departments and serving Ovilla and surrounding communities.
“By far our most successful activity of the year is the annual Spaghetti Benefit Dinner held in February each year,” Graham explains. “This past year we raised $15,000 for the benefit of the Ovilla Fire Department. This coming year we will hold the same event for the benefit of the Ovilla Police Department. These donations allow the departments to purchase items of equipment that are not provided for in the city budget” for example, in the past the police department purchased shotguns for the squad cars and personal body cameras for the officers. This past year the fire department purchased mattresses and additional items for the fire department bunk area.
Up next for the Service League is September’s Ovilla Heritage Day Festival on the Sept. 27.
“It is a lot of fun to participate in Heritage Day where we get to greet all the people attending the event and show them the friendliness that is typical in Ovilla,” Graham explains. “We also have an entry in the Heritage Day parade and enjoy the fun of tossing candy along the route.”
For now, however, Graham says even beyond the events that the organization takes part in, the group wants to grow its membership.
“Working with the Ovilla Service League gives new members a chance to make a real difference in their city and extended community,” Graham explains. “It allows them to meet others in the area and that can sometimes be hard, make new friends and participate in improving the community for themselves and everyone else.”
The Ovilla Serivce League has been active for 40 years and over the years has donated everything from the flag pole at City Hall to fire trucks and police equipment while also helping children and adults who are less fortunate working with organizations like Gingerbread House, Hope Clinic, CASA, North Ellis County Outreach and more.
“We act as the ‘unofficial hostesses’ of the City of Ovilla,” Graham concludes.