Greater Grand Rapids Womens History Council
  P.O Box 68874, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-8874                     Phone: 616-574-7307



April 24, 2016

GGRWHC Board of Directors

Mary Seeger,
Jo Ellyn Clarey,
Ruth VanStee,
Connie Ingham
Jennifer Bryant 
Jo Ellyn Clarey
Susan Coombes
Kristin Du Mez 
Sharon Hanks 
Connie Ingham 
Kyle Irwin
Mary Seeger
Ruth Stevens 
Amy Dunham Strand 
Julie Tabberer  
Ruth Van Stee 
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Looking Back


O ne hundred-twenty p eople attended our annual  reception and celebration of Women's History Month on March 30 at the Women's City Club. The large group enjoyed an evening with drinks and wonderful hors d'oeuvres, prepared by the Women's City Club chef.

Since women in elective office was the theme of the evening, local women in office or running for office were present. People had a chance to greet Grand Rapids' first woman mayor,   Rosalynn Bliss.  Other guests in office included Ruth Kelly, city commissioner, and Joe Jones, the recently appointed city commissioner replacing Bliss,  Carol Hennessy and Mandy Bolter, county
commissioners, and Winnie Brinks, state representative, 76th House District. 

Anyone running for an office right now? Candidate for the newly created Family Court Judgeship, Deborah McNabb and Kathleen Bruinsma for GRCC board. 
Deirdre Toeller-Novak presented Shattering Glass Ceilings, relating the stories of  five "firsts," Grand Rapids women who were elected to office beginning in 1888: Harriet Cook, Eva McCall Hamilton, Grace Ames Van Hoesen, Evangeline Lamberts, and Rosalynn Bliss.
Mayor Bliss spoke and she, along with Deirdre, entertained questions.  


Photographer Diane Carroll Burdick took more pictures that night which can be seen on the web site

The co-presidents Mary Seeger and Jo Ellyn Clarey called for a brief business meeting, where members were asked to approve a change in the bylaws and add two new board members, Kristin Du Mez and Amy Dunham Strand.
More information

The shortest
business meeting in the world
was then adjourned.
A 1936 photograph of Kent County Commissioners included 54 men and one woman, Grace Van Hoesen.   
For more information about this and other programs and events, watch the web site and follow us on Facebook and Twitter . 

Join us or Update your Membership!  

Not a current member of GGRWHC?   Register or renew your membership and help offset the expenses associated with annual research and programs. Your membership helps to set the record straight on the women who've made history here in our community.

GGRWHC Board Meetings

Board meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. at the Vanderveen Center for the Book at the Grand Rapids Public Library. If you have suggestions for programs, oral histories, or other items, please email us or plan to attend a meeting.



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Thank you for your interest in preserving and celebrating the history of the many phenomonal women who've helped to shape West Michigan!  If you aren't already a member of the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council, consider showing your support through annual membership.  Visit our web site for more information and the ability to register using Pay Pal online!

Hats off to the historical women who've shaped West Michigan!