Three Saratoga women are credited with founding the Summit League: Marge Dodge, Etel Lorraine and Barbara Lockhart. Marge and Ethel had both been Junior League members in New York and became affiliated with the Palo Alto Junior League. Eventually, they recruited five other members and decided to propose a similar organization in Saratoga based on the structure and by-laws of the Junior League.
Fifteen more members joined the group and lead by the group’s first president, Jane Hamilton, a temporary name of “Assistance League” was adopted on February 28, 1957. After much discussion, the official name of “Summit League” was agreed upon March 21, 1957.
The officers of the Summit League drew up Articles of Incorporation as a non-profit organization and its legal status was granted on July 2, 1957.
In the early days, Summit League mainly provided services for the Ming Quong Home. These services consisted of volunteering at the home, staffing the Happy Dragon Thrift Shop, transporting children to various appointments, putting on birthday parties and sorting donated clothing and goods. Some members functioned as staff receptionist and were treated to tricks and jokes played by the children.
There were also fundraising activities to benefit Ming Quong. One of the earliest was selling Christmas cards, Advent calendars and magazine subscriptions. In 1960 the group participated in the time-consuming activity of lovingly decorating a Christmas tree to be auctioned. Mary Anderson proudly drove it in an open van in the Los Gatos Christmas Parade through the pouring rain. A kind-hearted merchant took pity on the tree and Mary and bought the tree for $175. For many years, Summit League sponsored the Ming Quong cottage that was used for activities benefiting Ming Quong’s young residents such as birthday parties.
Gradually Ming Quong began receiving greater support from their service organization and from other philanthropic sources. As a result, Summit League began making contributions to other organizations. They implemented a variety of fundraisers including a wine-tasting party, house tours, a domino tournament, golf tournaments, garden tours, eight art shows, two tennis tournaments, a treasure sale and a concert and auction held at Paul Masson.
Over the years the Summit League has gained community respect and made valuable contributions while providing camaraderie, friendship and support among its members.
Based on information prepared by Marcia Summers, for 30thAnniversary Celebration, June 11, 1987.