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The Junior League: Like ‘Gossip Girl,’ Only Broke



Is the Junior League more concerned about preserving its “social standing and reputation” than dealing with its financial problems? That’s what league president Trisha Duval, who filed a complaint with the state attorney general’s charities bureau recently, told the Times yesterday, in a story about a messy dispute within the 100-plus-year-old women’s organization. Duval says the league is going broke over renovations on their Upper East Side townhouse, and that meanwhile the women on the board, being WASPs, are pretending everything’s fine. Naturally, said board was aghast at the story, and after it came out, a member of league’s board of managers sent the following note to her fellow chairwomen. “Ladies,” she began…

You may have seen today’s article on the NYJL in the Metro Section of The New York Times. Please DO NOT under any circumstances e-mail the article to your committee volunteers, friends, etc. The Times tracks the “most popular” hits and we don’t need any more exposure than we already have.

Unfortunately for her, that e-mail was printed by the Times blog City Room today, as was the following missive from the league’s communications director to all the members, which did its best to smooth over the situation. “The New York Junior League remains financially sound,” she wrote. But she must have forgotten that the day before, the treasurer had told everyone pretty much the exact opposite. City Room reprinted the treasurer’s e-mail, too, which said: “As you may have heard, the NYJL is facing a serious financial situation.” Well … everyone knows that a little white lie is always soothing in a time of crisis. And anyway, the communications director got across her main point:

Junior Leaguers concerned about their reputation? Never!

The Junior League: Like ‘Gossip Girl,’ Only Broke