CONTACT: Allison Carp
Brynn Bagot Public Relations
[email protected]

DALLAS – June 18, 2021 – Last night, the Junior League of Dallas (JLD) announced the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award and 2022 Sustainer of the Year Award. These honorable awards will be presented at the Centennial Milestones Luncheon at the Hilton Anatole on Thursday, April 21, 2022. Milestones Luncheon Chair, Isabell Novakov Higginbotham, and Sustaining Chair, Lydia Novakov, announced that Mrs. Laura Bush will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Veletta Forsythe Lill will be honored as Sustainer of the Year.

Throughout the next year, the JLD will be celebrating 100 years of achievements and growing women leaders who address Dallas’ most critical needs. In celebration of the Centennial anniversary of the Junior League of Dallas, the JLD will present Mrs. Laura Bush with the Lifetime Achievement Award for her excellence in voluntarism and community leadership. This distinguished award honors a Sustaining member who has been a catalyst for community change. Mrs. Bush was an active member of the Junior League of Midland, Texas, for more than 15 years. She was a member of the board in 1983 and served as Recording Secretary of the Executive Board in 1984.  When Mrs. Bush moved to Dallas in 1989, she maintained her Sustainer status and supported the Junior League of Dallas.

While serving as the First Lady of Texas, and later as First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Bush highlighted groups who needed the help of volunteers across our state, and across our country. Mrs. Bush often gives credit to the Junior League for setting a fine example of how volunteerism and women’s leadership can solve the most complex and difficult issues, improving lives every day.

“In every way, Laura Bush has energized volunteers in thousands of communities. Using her training at a very young age as a Junior League member, she has offered hope and consolation to millions of individuals around the world,” said the Honorable Jeanne L. Phillips.

The Junior League of Dallas is proud to have many outstanding Sustaining members who continue to share their JLD training and leadership skills to make a difference in the community. They represent the very best of League members and show selfless dedication.
The 2022 Sustainer of the Year is Veletta Forsythe Lill, who credits the JLD for giving her leadership skills that have served her throughout her life – from nonprofit board service and budgets to the critical issues facing our city. She served as a volunteer and Project Chair for The Family Place, where she learned about the victims and dynamics of domestic violence, as well as the complexities of an organization that serves multi-layered needs. Ms. Lill also served on the Community Assistance Fund, which she says was “the equivalent of a lightening round on nonprofits, where she was amazed by the League’s ability to respond to needs in such a thoughtful and timely way.”

Ms. Lill believes her volunteer commitments in the League provided valuable education, preparing her to serve the city of Dallas and dozens of nonprofits over the years. She is best known for serving as a Dallas City Councilman for eight years representing District 14. Her passion for history and the arts drove her to focus on these topics while working on the City Council. Ms. Lill’s passion for arts and preservation have allowed her to help shape the growth of the Dallas Arts District, including the AT&T Performing Arts Center, Klyde Warren Park, Nasher Sculpture Center, Moody Performances Hall, Crow Museum of Asian Art, Dallas Black Dance Theatre and many more.

“Veletta is a leader…as a longtime arts and preservation advocate, she has established a record of success for this city – making it better in a way that makes us proud to say what a great mentor she is for the younger members of the Dallas Junior League,” said Elizabeth Gunby, Junior League of Dallas Sustainer.


The Junior League of Dallas cultivates leaders who collectively address the critical needs of the community. Founded in 1922, the JLD is one of the largest Junior Leagues in the world, as well as the largest and oldest training organization for women in Dallas. Active members range in age from 22 to 49 with approximately 85% percent of women employed outside of the home. The JLD provides leadership opportunities to nearly 5,000 women each year through more than 26,000 cumulative hours of experiential and formal training. Uniquely member-run, the JLD provides over 130,000 hours in volunteer service and approximately $1 million in funding to area nonprofits each year. For more information, please visit www.jldallas.org or on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.