Last Wednesday, the Lowell Women’s Club held the final meeting of its 2016-2017 year. Amidst the fun and fellowship, the group named its Woman of the Year, handed out nearly $12,000 in scholarships, honored a beloved member now gone and installed its new officers.
Here’s a look back at how everything went down.
The May meeting concluded the 2016-2017 year for the Lowell Women’s Club and marked the end of Lori Ingraham’s term as the group’s president. Before handing over the position to president-elect Teresa Hoffman, she had the honor of announcing the 2017 Lowell Woman of the Year.
And the award goes to….Jan Thompson! A local institution, Thompson has long been known for her determination, selflessness and boundless energy. During the award presentation, Ingraham relayed a story of how Thompson’s true grit was on display during her years in Memphis, Tennessee. When the all-male city council continued to talk as she started a presentation, Thompson removed her high-heel shoe and pounded the podium with it, becoming a front page sensation in the local paper.
In Lowell, Thompson has been a tireless advocate for others. She has committed thousands of hours to community service and has a special place in her heart for our veterans. She has overseen the delivery of 30,000 homemade cookies to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans for the holidays as well as 1,600 desserts for Father’s Day. She has also volunteered for Gilda’s Club, the VFW and countless other local organizations.
This isn’t the first time Thompson has been recognized by the community either. She, along with her husband Dave, was named Person of the Year in 2010 by the Lowell Area Chamber of Commerce.
Next, it was time to honor the ten junior members of the Lowell Women’s Club. Each year, the club pairs seniors in high school with mentors from the group. Ten girls were part of the program for 2016-2017, and they split $10,800 in scholarship money that the club earned through its fundraising activities.
Each girl got a monogram bracelet as a gift as well.
This year, the Lowell Women’s Club had an additional scholarship to award. It was in honor of the late Bev Hall, a beloved member of the group and Lowell community. Andrea Harwood, Hall’s daughter, raised money for two scholarships to honor both her mother and her late father, former city council member Jim Hall. One scholarship was given to the Lowell Women’s Club to award to a junior member.
Karen Waid read the winning essay during the scholarship presentation.
The winner was Alyssa McIntire who is shown here being presented with a certificate from Harwood for the $1,150 scholarship award.
After the awards, new members were inducted and then Betty Yeiter took center stage. Dressed as Betsy Ross, she presented information about the creation of the American flag and Ross’s role in giving us the stars and stripes we use today. Among the other fun facts shared, the flag was originally conceived as having six-point stars but Ross argued for the current five-point design as being simpler to sew.
As a final order of business, the new officers for the 2017-2018 year were inducted. Each woman received a red carnation, a symbol of the group.
The new officers of the Lowell Women’s Club would love to see you at a meeting next year!