The Broadway-themed bash thrown April 14 at The Broadmoor Lodge by the Colorado Springs National Charity League’s (NCL) senior class was a Big Apple-sized celebration.

Fourteen accomplished young women, representing seven area high schools, worked together to plan and execute each detail of the chapter’s annual Senior Salute. The highlight of the event, which celebrates their years serving together in NCL, is when each graduate takes a turn at the podium to pay tribute to their mothers. The lights, cameras and action were accompanied by lots of laughter, tears and applause as the seniors shared special memories and their plans for the future with more than 150 guests.

NCL is a national nonprofit organization that offers mothers and daughters the opportunity to volunteer together in the community. Many of this year’s graduating class began their time in NCL in the spring of sixth grade, and have been together for the complete six-year program, which focuses on three pillars: culture, leadership and philanthropy. They attended plays and served at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center and gained leadership skills through holding different offices and working together to plan meetings and events. Participants contributed to the community through volunteering at a wide range of philanthropies like Colorado Springs Therapeutic Riding Center, Care and Share Food Bank for Southern Colorado and Children’s Hospital Colorado. They supported citizens of all ages, from working with Community Partnership for Child Development to Silver Key Senior Services. Julie Papaj received this year’s award for most volunteer hours worked by an individual in the senior class; she performed 156 hours of service to local philanthropies.

Lora Franz, outgoing co-president, with Krista Willard, encouraged the Class of 2019 and their mothers to remain in the NCL family by becoming sustainer members. Franz said the Senior Salute is a great tradition that honors the seniors and encourages younger NCL members.

“The Colorado Springs NCL Chapter salutes these 14 young women and the commitment they’ve shown to giving back to the Colorado Springs community,” she said. “They understand that service to others is the truest form of leadership and it will be exciting to see what they do next.”

For information about membership in the Colorado Springs chapter of National Charity League, visit

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