A life-long Jamestown resident, Junie Eimiiler graduated from Jamestown High School in 1989 and went on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in English with a sociology minor (Cum Laude) from the University of Buffalo in 1993 and her Masters Degree in English (Cum Laude) from Fredonia State College in December 2002.
Since 1999, Junie has worked as an English teacher at Southwestern School District. From 2006-2009, she also taught English as an adjunct instructor at Jamestown Community College and worked as a teaching fellow at the Robert H. Jackson Center.
In addition to her full-time occupation, Junie has spent most of her adult life volunteering at local organizations ranging from the Chautauqua County Humane Society to the Salvation Army to the UCAN Mission. She also volunteered teaching Bible/Sunday school over the years at several local churches that she attended with her family. In October 2021, Junie founded “B.E. Strong 716,” an official 501(3)(c) nonprofit which she established in memory of her late son Bannon Eimiller. The charity’s mission is two-fold:
1) To make the 716 community stronger –one donation at a time–by giving to people and causes that would have mattered to her son.
2) To help others who are grieving.
Thanks to the generosity of so many people both near and far, this charity has been able to give to a variety of causes, organizations, and dozens of families in need, in particular, others who have faced immense tragedies (including the Buffalo community after the mass shooting at Tops) all of which she details on the B.E. Strong 716 Facebook page and the official website http://bestrong716.org. “My son Bannon was the love of my life; my whole world revolved around him. Cooking huge meals for him and his friends (and sometimes the entire football team) was a regular occurrence when he was growing up. Boys would come from all over Jamestown (not an exaggeration) to have meals at our house,” Eimiller explains. “Now I’m doing the same thing–only for large groups of men at the Mission, and it such good therapy for me at a time when I so desperately need it. I am so thankful to be a part of the UCAN team. This job has given me a purpose again and is one of the single most important things that I am doing now, in addition to running the charity. I know my son would be so pleased that we are working to help people in need; he had a huge heart.” In addition to creating “meals made with love,” Junie feels it’s so important to offer the men at the shelter a “friendly hello” every day: “Not only do I strive to treat the guests with dignity, kindness, and respect,” she said, “but so does my service dog Butterz, who works alongside me. A lot of the guys really enjoy having her around, and she loves the many treats she receives, as a result. It’s a win-win for everyone!