April 8 , 2020 I www.ggrwhc.org   I 616-574-7307
GGRWHC Marches On!
Check out our March hard copy newsletter for a peek at the past and into the future! Issued immediately before social distancing at the start of Women’s History Month, this edition was jam-packed with descriptions of events, events, events! Some will be rescheduled in the future, so stay tuned~ 

At first we were disappointed and disoriented, but we have now fully embraced the opportunity to highlight what we do besides programming. Naturally, a lot of research underlies all of our efforts, including a reinvestment of our work on local, state, and national suffrage history in a brand new Girl Scouts badge!
The GGRWHC has been delighted to collaborate with Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore to create the Michigan 2020 Women’s Right to Vote Centennial Patch!

Launched on April 5th, the patch was designed as a catalyst for conversation and to help girls learn more and make the world a better place through their actions. The patch packet is divided into three sections, featuring activities focused on learning the history of the women’s suffrage movement, exploring how the right to vote affects our everyday lives, and reinvesting that knowledge to make a difference in society. To learn more about this patch, visit the Girl Scouts of Michigan Shore to Shore's Michigan 2020 Women’s Right to Vote Centennial Patch page !

For twenty years, the GGRWHC has hoped for a Girl Scouts badge featuring local women’s history. So we were thrilled that new GSMISTS program coordinator Gayle Ebben recognized 2020 as perfect timing! She worked with GGRWHC researcher and writer Ruth Stevens to create the reality. And the Women's Right to Vote Centennial Patch artwork was designed and illustrated by our own Libby VanderPloeg. What a centennial project for Girl Scouts!
Recently, designer, illustrator, and GGRWHC board member Libby VanderPloeg  led a Michigan Girl Scouts live drawing class for girls  seeking a Drawing Badge. But anyone of any age could find this project fun, especially those among us currently homeschooling children. Libby led viewers through steps to create poster-style art to create a superhero—art that could certainly be offered in thanks to a mail carrier, nurse, grocery shelver, or parent. Celebrate the superpowers of everyday people!

Now, have at it!  https://www.facebook.com/gsmists/videos/2594859774090292/  And Libby can be reached with questions at her website: libbyvanderploeg.com
Women’s History Wednesdays!
Minnie Cumnock Blodgett, Nursing Advocate
GGRWHC salutes the rich history of nursing education in our community! In 1917 Americans worried about how to train new recruits fast enough to replace nurses shipping out for work on the front lines of World War I. Prominent Grand Rapidian Minnie Cumnock Blodgett both envisioned and arranged an intensive nursing “boot camp” at Vassar College, where students completed three-months of study before dispersing to hospitals throughout the country for the practical side of their training.
Closer to home, Blodgett also urged Grand Rapids nursing programs to partner with Grand Rapids Junior College for their students’ coursework, affording a learning environment separate from the distractions of hospital settings. Memorable in itself as a historic war measure, the experiment at the Vassar Training Camp for Nurses remains today an important precursor for the preparation of nursing students. 

In 1920 alumnae of the boot camp met to memorialize their colleagues who had died fighting the Spanish Influenza. Worldwide, that pandemic took the lives of an estimated fifty million people--far exceeding the twenty million lost to the war. 

Hats off to the foresight and leadership of Minnie Cumnock Blodgett! Read more about her in our  Women’s Lifestyle Magazine  feature, written and illustrated by GGRWHC board members Julia Bouwkamp and LibbyVanderPloeg:   
GGRWHC’s program year honoring the 19th Amendment centennial has been interrupted by the coronavirus outbreak. For now, please stay home and stay safe, but celebrate with the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council virtually and in print!

Watch for Women’s History Wednesdays via this electronic newsletter, follow us on Facebook, watch for our monthly features in Women’s Lifestyle Magazine , and click here to receive our hard-copy newsletter and become a supporting member of GGRWHC!
Stay home and stay safe--but celebrate with us virtually and in print! 
GGRWHC |   www.ggrwhc.org   | 616-574-7307
Hats off to the historical women who have shaped West Michigan!
Please take a moment to forward this message to others you know who may be interested in women's history. If you've received this message as a forward, consider joining our mailing list in order to receive future updates about programming.

Thank you for your interest in preserving and celebrating the history of the many phenomenal women who've helped to shape West Michigan!  If you aren't already a supporter of the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council, consider investing in our work as a volunteer or with an annual donation .  Visit our  website  for more information and the ability to donate online.