April Member Spotlight

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The Community Outreach Committee represents Women’s City Club in the community. For many, we are the face of WCC. Our mission is “uplifting women and children throughout the Grand Rapids community, through service and donation.” The Women's Resource Center, HQ and the Y are the organizations the committee supports through your generous donations. During the month of March 2019, the WCC raised $466.00 for Women’s Resource Center, to assist women in re-entering the workforce. Donations for undergarments/foundations will give our sisters “a lift.”  

HQGR, is an organization that helps the disenfranchised youth and young adults within our community. It’s hard to believe that we have a homeless crisis right here in Grand Rapids. It’s even more sad to realize many of the homeless are children. This is an ongoing project for WCC, as HQ has so many needs. Right now, we are urgently seeking donations of new underwear for these teens and young adults. They prefer boxers, for the males (S, M, L, XL) and any style panties, in all sizes (S, M, L, XL) for the females. They also appreciate donations of shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc., even your hotel sizes, and gift cards for youth to use for evening meals.

The drive for The Y’s domestic abuse families culminates in December. Those donations were happily received when they delivered them.

Peg Spoelstra, chairperson of the Outreach Committee, has been a Women’s City Club member since 2014. She retired early 2015 from CETUSA, an international student organization providing opportunities for cross-cultural learning and living.  With her family, they’ve hosted more than 40 students from various countries, a shared experience (gift) that is theirs forever! Peg is passionate about her faith, and thrillingly, involved in a church plant. The Awakening meets Sunday afternoon at 12:30 at Dégagé. To worship with the clients of Dégagé, and youth from Cornerstone University, is perhaps the highlight of her life currently. Other passions include travel and spending time among other cultures. She’s loving this time of her life with my family and friends. She is a lifetime member of Beta Sigma Phi. The most valuable lesson she’s learned is, that there are tiny miracles every day - that following every loss is another gift. 

Cat Timermanis, co-chair of the Outreach Committee, has been a Women's City Club member since 2011. Cat is a retired art teacher who has a special soft spot for children, and adults who need TLC because of circumstances which deprive them of food, shelter and clothing. She volunteers for numerous non-profit organizations such as HQ, Festival of the Arts, Circle and Civic theaters and Granville Avenue of Arts and Humanities. She and her husband enjoy reading, foreign movies, British mysteries and travel. 

Community Outreach is visibly working in our community, giving back to those less fortunate on behalf of the Women’s City Club!

Women's City Club Establishes the Hazel Whitaker Vandenberg Award!

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  • A $500 cash award will be given to a GRPS high school junior (Union High School)

  • The student will submit an entry describing a role model in their life

  • GRPS Superintendent, Teresa Weatherall Neal will present the award at the WCC Annual Meeting on May 16 at Kent Country Club

Women’s City Club of Grand Rapids was established in 1924 by a group of area women who were actively involved in the Grand Rapids community. Many of the activities that club members enjoy today began when the Club initially started, and the activities revolved around its mission. The mission of the Women’s City Club is to promote educational, civic, and social activities through study, community service, and friendly association. Hazel Whitaker Vandenberg was one of the 500 original charter members of the Women’s City Club. After moving to Washington D.C. with her husband Senator Arthur Vandenberg, she sent a monthly letter to be published in the Club’s newsletter. The letters described the happenings, events and social gatherings in Washington D.C.

“Hazel was active in civic affairs and was widely known for her charity activities. She was a role model for those she worked with because she was always trying to do good and to help others.” Nancy Dausman, WCC President

Students entering the contest for the HWV Award must submit an entry about a person who has been a role model in their life. Entries for the award must be one of the following choices: essay, photo, painting, poetry, short story, drawing, collage, or song. The entry will include a brief artist statement about why this person is a role model for them. Entries are due on April 10, 2019. GRPS Superintendent, Theresa Weatherall Neal, will present the cash award to the winning student at the Women’s City Club Annual Meeting on Thursday, May 16, 2019.

The Women’s City Club continues to find ways to promote its mission. The Hazel Whitaker Vandenberg Award is a recent endeavor to help support education and learning as one of the keys to future success.

April has been designated as Campaign Month to fund the award and donations are welcome. Make checks payable to Women’s City Club with HWV Award on the memo line. Checks can be mailed to: Women’s City Club, P.O. Box 2231, Grand Rapids, MI 49501.

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March Member Spotlight

March is Reading Month

Every month is reading month at the Women’s City Club! We have a Literacy Committee whose mission is to promote reading within the Club and the community. The committee recently established the WCC Book Club. The book club is warm, welcoming and flexible. The club meets once a month on the 4th Tuesday at East Congregational Church. Members of WCC can join any time or come for the discussion of a certain book. Books have been chosen through June and include, Into the Magic Shop by James R. Doty, A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Klein, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, Lab Girl by Hope Jahre and The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict.

The committee has taken on various other projects. Their first was to collect books for children staying at East Congregational Church during the holidays. A project under consideration is to collect books for the Book Fairy at DeVos Children’s Hospital. The Book Fairy is a hospital volunteer who reads and gives books to patients, carefully choosing a specific book for each child.

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Anne Hill, chairperson of the committee, has been a WCC member since 2014 and a Chair and Board member since 2016. She was a Special Education teacher in Ottawa County and then a school psychologist in Rockford Schools for 26 years. She loved the continuous opportunities for learning new ideas and found the job very interesting.

Anne has been married to her husband for 45 years. They enjoy time with family, reading, travel and playing cards and games. In the summer they live in Pentwater where they are involved with the Historical Society, a coffee group and a Euchre league. Their daughter, son-in-law and 3-year old grandson live in Rockford now after living in Minneapolis for many years. Their son and daughter-in-law live in Denver where their daughter-in-law started a PhD program in the fall. The family members are all MSU fans!

The WCC holds an informal coffee once a month on the 3rd Tuesday at 10:30 am at East Congregational Church. Members are encouraged to bring books to swap and to stay and share some good conversation. This is a great time for those interested in learning more about the Women’s City Club to come and meet some members.

Promoting literacy and reading is very important to the Women’s City Club! 

WCC On the Move: Look What We Have Accomplished!

In early 2018 the difficult decision was made to leave the Sweet House and our last day there was April 30, 2018. Sorting files, moving equipment, and untangling our finances was a HUGE job. Restructuring the Board and committees brought clarity out of chaos. The Articles of Incorporation, Standing Rules and our Bylaws have been revised to reflect who we are now. Accounts have been set up for designated funds and members are showing their support by generously donating to them. Miss Kitty graces our table at Thursday Programs and gratefully accepts our money to help with miscellaneous expenses. Great articles have been written about us in the GR Business Journal and GR Mag online. We have a Facebook page and a new website.

We became WOMEN ON THE MOVE and our first event out in the community was a Mother’s Day Brunch at the Wheelhouse. A Royal Tea was held at the Plaza Tower Condos. We secured Kent Country Club for our Thursday Enrichment Programs and had the May 2018 Annual Meeting there. Programs on nature photography, music as therapy, Paleolithic Art, literacy initiatives, mindfulness, Qatar, Kid’s Food Basket and MORE have enriched our lives. Beacon Hill has been a great location for Board meetings and will be the venue for our January Thursday Programs.

Tours to the Meyer May House, Meijer Gardens, Fountain Street Church, and Hemingway’s Michigan up north kept us on the move. Roundtable discussions, protocols for events, buttons with bling, a Bulletin printed in color, and a new Directory with members’ photos are more of our innovations.

East Congregational Church is our home on Tuesdays. Committee meetings, Mah Jongg, classes, book exchanges and $2 Bucks Tuesday Coffees are held there. We established Tuesday Social Time (TST) to meet once a month at local restaurants from 4-6 pm. Cork at Watermark, Zeytin, Charley’s Crab and Rose’s Restaurant have been welcoming and accommodating.

We have Let’s Do Lunch and Let’s Do Dinner periodically at restaurants around town. Our fabulously festive Evergreen Gala was held at Thousand Oaks this December. The Outreach Committee has projects that allow us to give back to the community.

All of this and more in only EIGHT MONTHS! We are extremely grateful for YOU, our members, for your faith, commitment, and friendship. The future is bright for the Women’s City Club!

 

Women's City Club Changes

WCC in the Press (GR Business Journal article)

As of April 30, 2018, the Women's City Club has left the Sweet House, it's home since 1927. It is sad and hopeful at the same time. Membership has declined in recent years and thus we cannot afford to stay in the House.

The Club, however, is still very much alive! We have moved our Thursday Programs to the Kent Country Club (original Sweet family farm) and can be found at other locations around Grand Rapids. We have some exciting events planned for the coming year.

We have some fantastic Bus Trips planned as well. Stay tuned for more information on those!

We are in the process of making a brand new website which will be unveiled sometime this summer.