GFWC celebrates Federation Day on April 24

Submitted by Dee VanHorn

General Federation of Women’s Club-Big Rapids
BIG RAPIDS — April 24 is an important day in the history of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. GFWC logo colorOn April 24, 1890, 63 clubs officially formed the General Federation of Women’s Club following a two decade campaign by founder Jane Cunningham Croly. Croly, a professional journalist, founded her original club — Sorosis — after she was denied entry into a dinner at an all-male club because of her gender.

Locally, five clubs within the Northwestern District of GFWC Michigan work to support programs and projects to enhance the lives of the citizens of their respective communities. Located in Big Rapids, Evart, Lake City, Mecosta Heart of the Lakes and Reed City, GFWC members are proud to be members of GFWC and celebrate the organization’s 127th birthday.

GFWC now has clubs throughout all 50 states and in several foreign countries. Over the years, GFWC founded more than 474 free public libraries and 4,655 traveling libraries. Group members have been instrumental in securing improvements in child labor laws, juvenile justice, environmental issues and concerns, highway safety, food and drug safety, workplace rules and protections and helped to secure passage of the Violence Against Women Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act.

GFWC members contributed $180,000 for a fully-equipped ambulance for use by the New York Fire Department in response to the loss of equipment suffered during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. As issues arise, GFWC continues to provide support to the local clubs in their mission to help improve the lives of others through the work in their local communities.

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