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Balloons festoon the entrance to the National Charity League Fall Festival. From left: Meegan McCorkle Flewelling and daughter, Marin Flewelling; and Madeline McIntosh and her mother, Cami McIntosh.

Adolescence for girls is a time for them to spread their wings, experience new adventures and engage in activities that will have an impact for the rest of their lives. This is what the National Charity League Inc. offers to young women in the Pikes Peak region.

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Sisters: Caitlin McIntosh, left, is a junior at Pine Creek High School. Madeline McIntosh is an 8th grader at Mountain Ridge Middle School.

On a balmy Sunday afternoon in early November, members of the Colorado Springs Chapter of NCL, including their mothers, attended a Fall Festival to connect and to celebrate their accomplishments.

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Members of the National Charity League class of 2022 Hope Stark, left, and Audra Frickey. Both attend Cheyenne Mountain High School.

The elegant venue, the Pinery at The Hill, was the perfect setting for mothers and their daughters, ranging from 7th graders to high school seniors, to honor the 2022 senior class of NCL. Attendees received meaningful advice from keynote speaker Katie Rainsberger, were entertained by a rocking fashion show, and enjoyed a delightful tea service.

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Monica Peloso has been involved with NCL for many years, first with her daughter, Lucy, and now daughter Dori Peloso, a senior at Cheyenne Mountain High School.

Meegan McCorkle Flewelling, co-vice president of communications, explained the purpose of NCL. Young women engage in developing leadership skills, acquiring social awareness and compassion, encouraging cultural experiences, and fostering mother/daughter relationships.

Flewelling has two daughters who continue to benefit from membership in NCL. Riley Flewelling is now in her first year of law school. According to her mother, Riley appreciated engaging with girls from all over the city as she solidified her commitment to community service and developed considerable leadership skills that are continuing to benefit her. Younger daughter Marin Flewelling is in 8th grade; and loves her time spent at the Humane Society, and ushering at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College. Marin said she is gratified to bond and spend quality time with her mother and friends, while learning about and benefiting the community in significant ways.

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Kerry Hofle enjoys the tea service with her daughter, Adeline Hofle, who is a 10th grader at Discovery Canyon High School.

The National Charity League is a national multi-generational philanthropic organization that was initiated in 1925. Today there are 287 chapters in 31 states, with 200,000 members and alumnae. The service organization makes a considerable impact by promoting the opportunity to engage in philanthropic pursuits at an early age using the mother/daughter bond as a springboard. The NCL website makes this strong promise: “Our programs empower members to succeed as confident, well-rounded contributors to society while making a positive impact in the communities they serve.”

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Susan Casmer, and daughter, Jordyn Casmer, have engaged in many activities together through NCL. Jordyn is a sophomore at Rampart High School.

Each mother/daughter pair attends, and is involved in conducting, monthly meetings. Together they determine how much time to contribute, what volunteer opportunities to pursue, or they develop their own interests. Some of the more popular philanthropic endeavors include making toys and treats for animals at the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, ushering at the Fine Arts Center Theatre and Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival, assisting participants at the Therapeutic Riding Center, and assembling food boxes at Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado food pantries.

The girls develop communication and self-sufficiency skills, an awareness of the importance of the arts, positive community engagement, and an appreciation for family time. Leadership and skill-building opportunities are continuously advanced.

The theme of this year’s Fall Festival was: “Bloom Where You’re Planted,” emphasizing that everyone has unique talents and qualities to be individually cultivated.

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Engaged in packing boxes at Care and Share are, from left: Caitlin McIntosh, Cami McIntosh, Diya Suri, Shipra Suri, Aslyn Ekenberg, and Alyssa Ekenberg.

Rainsberger, the keynote speaker, is a graduate of Air Academy High School and the University of Washington and a national champion in long-distance running. Rainsberger spoke of her personal struggle between staying in the moment versus focusing only on the outcome. She described overcoming her fear of failure, gaining perspective, appreciating her self-worth, and practicing gratitude on a daily basis.

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NCL Colorado Springs Chapter’s President-Elect Stacey Baxter and Shelby Grace Baxter.

Rainsberger has gained self-confidence as she continues her personal journey. She shared that her ongoing focus is the realization that a life of gratitude brings more joy than anything else for her, and she wants to share her joy with others.

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LEFT: Senior class members of the Colorado Springs chapter of the National Charity League are shown here preparing to water trees for Friends of Cheyenne Cañon (the Sesquicentennial trees are above Helen Hunt Falls). From left: Jill Crann, Kim Batterson, Caroline Crann, Abigail Batterson, and Catherine Pederson.

A rousing fashion show followed Rainsberger’s inspirational words. The members of the class of 2022 first modeled an outfit from their personal wardrobe that signified their unique personality and who they are. As the Roy Orbison song “Pretty Woman” echoed through the speakers, they strutted up and down the runway in casual wear, sports attire, more formal clothing, and evening wear, and each teen illustrated individual hobbies, passions, dreams, and achievements.

To the pulse of 1960s hits, the young women returned to the runway in outfits from local boutique Eve’s Revolution that each had orchestrated with the assistance of the staff there.

They sashayed across the stage, and toward their futures, as the announcers read personal and meaningful quotes they had chosen, including “How you do anything is how you do everything” and “Keep smiling. Life is a beautiful thing and there is so much to smile about” — examples of words to live by as the young women develop their confidence, awareness, and lifetime skills through involvement in the National Charity League.

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ABOVE: The 2022 senior class of the National Charity League Inc., Colorado Springs Chapter. First row, seated, from left: Emma Lindsey, Kristiana Klein, Hope Stark, Madeline Duncan, Abigail Batterson, Catherine Pederson, Audra Frickey, Grace LaJoie, Lannie Hanson, and Chelsea Webber. Second row, standing, from left: Emma Steinbruner, Kate Gassman, Caroline Crann, Ella Chura, Cayla Kirschbaum, Karlee Pinell, Sofia Gagliardi, Kate Twede, Dori Peloso, Isabella Bassett, Chloe Hollard, Zoe Lachnidt. Not pictured: Kade Vaughan, Christina Matteson. From Air Academy High School: Ella Churra, Zoe Lachnidt, Chelsea Webber. From Discovery Canyon Campus High School: Emma Lindsey. All others: Cheyenne Mountain High School.

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