At the annual dinner meeting held recently, the Junior League of Pine Bluff proudly announced Anne Robinson and Kitty Rubenstein as the recipients of its Ella Hunn Payne Award.

At the annual dinner meeting held recently, the Junior League of Pine Bluff proudly announced Anne Robinson and Kitty Rubenstein as the recipients of its Ella Hunn Payne Award.

This award is given to sustaining members of the Junior League of Pine Bluff who have continued to embody the purpose of the Junior League and make a positive impact on our community through volunteer efforts. In 1935, Mrs. Virgil Payne led 12 charter members of the Junior Auxiliary in starting a volunteer organization of young women from our community, which is now known as the Junior League of Pine Bluff Inc. An award was established in 1985 honoring Payne for her years of dedication to this organization, and continues on each year.

Robinson joined the Junior League as a teenager in New York City, as a debutante. In 1974, after marrying Adam Robinson and moving to Pine Bluff, she became a member of the Junior League of Pine Bluff, and continued serving as an active member for 18 years. During that time, she held various positions within the league, including co-chair of various formal balls, Placement Committee member, and performing in the Red Stocking Follies in 1976.

Since that time, and still to this day, Robinson continues to serve as a volunteer for the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas. In that capacity, she has served on the Potpourri committee and has worked on many fundraisers and productions, both on the stage and off. She recently received the Catherine Bellamy Award (2011) for her volunteer service with the center.

Robinson believes in women’s clubs which affirm the interaction and intellect of their members, and belongs to the Hawthorne Book Club, the Sesame Club and the Junior Sesame Club.

Robinson, along with multiple business partners, has operated a clothing sales business representing Et Cetera, of the Connaught Group, from her home. Her husband, Adam, is president of Ralph Robinson & Son and Cooperative Life Insurance Company. Together they have two wonderful sons and daughters-in-law.

Kitty Rubenstein grew up in Warren, and is a fifth-generation Arkansan. She attended Rhodes College and the University of Arkansas, where she was a Chi Omega and majored in Art.

Rubenstein moved to Pine Bluff in 1962, and has taught art at the Little Firehouse and first grade at the Annunciation Academy. She also worked at Southwestern Bell for 20 years, retiring in 2002. She was an active member of the Junior League for 15 years, and enjoyed being placed on various art projects in the public schools and in the Children’s Gallery at the Arts & Science Center.

Rubenstein is an elder in the First Presbyterian Church, a member of the Mathontes Club, a board member and past president of the Pine Bluff Symphony Orchestra, and continues to volunteer with the Arts & Science Center. In addition, she has achieved Advanced Master Gardner status, serves on the Arkansas Committee of the National Museum for Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C., and, works for the Jefferson County Election Commission as an assistant to the election coordinator. Even with all of her continuing volunteer service, she still finds time to enjoy traveling, gardening and attending the opera.

Rubenstein is married to Bill Rubenstein, and they have four sons, four daughters-in-law, three grandsons and one grand-daughter.

The Junior League of Pine Bluff reaches out to women of all races, religions and national origins who demonstrate an interest and commitment to volunteerism. Those who would like to learn more about the mission of the Junior League, or volunteer their time and energy to its projects, write to them at P.O. Box 2167, Pine Bluff, AR 71613, or call 870-879-3366.