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



March 22, 2017

GGRWHC Board of Directors

Mary Seeger,
Jo Ellyn Clarey
Susan Coombes
Connie Ingham
Ruth VanStee
  Newsletter editor 

Jennifer Bryant 
Jo Ellyn Clarey
Kristin Du Mez 
Connie Ingham 
Kyle Irwin
Mary Seeger
Ruth Stevens 
Amy Dunham Strand 
Julie Tabberer
Kate van Liere   
Ruth Van Stee

Deirdre Toeller-Novak
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Looking Back to Spring Ahead

At its annual reception and program, the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council looks for models from our past to spring us ahead. Meet some on March 29 th

Early members of the Mary Free Bed Guild, honored in 2016 in the 
Michigan Women's Hall of Fame.
Before and Beyond the Bricks and Mortar: 
The 1908 Blodgett Home for Children and the Programs It Has Housed

by Cindy Laug & Diana Barrett

Wednesday, March 29th, 5:00 - 7:00 pm

ICCF Assembly Hall, 920 Cherry Street SE

Free admission and free parking. Directions below.

Reserve at 616-574-7307 or [email protected]

Please join GGRWHC on March 29th  for a short reception   at 5:00 pm, preceding the world's shortest annual meeting and a program honoring nineteenth-century women who organized the children's programs behind the 1908 construction of the Blodgett Home for Children-currently the ICCF, our host building for the day. 

Early children's programs proliferated into the twentieth century when Mary Free Bed took over the building for its rehabilitation projects. Appropriately, the GGRWHC event offers an opportunity to visit a building beautifully rehabilitated itself-and we will toast the recent 125th anniversary of the Mary Free Bed Guild, whose founding and current members were inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame in 2016. 

In the room originally designed as an assembly hall for children in residence, Cindy Laug will introduce us to the women's organization that developed the Blodgett Home for Children, and Diana Barrett will remind us of the early Mary Free Bed history in this space, as well as a brief account of the fall and recent rebirth of the building itself. 

Join us for a heart-warming spring evening with GGRWHC friends, old and new, with Cindy Laug (also Grand Valley State University & Coopersville Historical Society) and Diana Barrett, (also Grand Rapids Historical Commission). Please join us, but please reserve: 616-574-7307 or   [email protected]. Free admission.

Directions: The ICCF Assembly Hall is on the third floor of the current Inner City Christian Federation at 920 Cherry Street SE in Grand Rapids, west of Diamond. Parking is free on the street or at the side and back of the building. Enter either through the grand front door on the north side of the building or the back door on the south, where there is also a handicapped entrance and elevator. If necessary, call 336-9333 for help or send someone to the information desk on the second floor. 

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GGRWHC Board Meetings

Board meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month at 4:30 p.m. in 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!