February 19, 2014 - By Meg Peters
Review Staff Writer
Women, along with their supporting men, came from far and wide to attend the General Federation of Women's Club Lake Orion's 100 year celebration of service to the community on February 15 at the Orion Township Public Library.
GFWC Lake Orion founded the Orion Township Public Library in 1926.
Dignitaries presented the Lake Orion club with an official proclamation congratulating the club for 100 years of service to the community.
GFWC Michigan represented their support to the local branch of the GFWC as members Donna Brown, Second Vice-President, and Marty Groleau, president, embraced Lake Orion co-presidents Carol
Vonrogov and Renee Horist on stage following the award.
Brown drove from Hastings, MI, and Groleau traveled all the way from the Upper Peninsula city of Manistee for the celebration.
Lake Orion resident Louis Whitham was so astounded by the GFWC Lake Orion she signed up on the spot.
"I didn't even know they were here, and I live right around the corner. I'm so impressed," Whitham said.
Whitman's niece Maria Lessnau traveled to the celebration from Belleville.
"Since GFWC Michigan founded our agency in 1958 and we are a private nonprofit it's just a huge deal for this organization," Lessnau said.
Lessnau is the Executive Officer at Guiding Harbor, formerly the Girlstown Foundation, of Belleville, a nonprofit organization that provides childcare and placement services to children and women 22 years and younger. The GFWC Michigan founded it, and continues to be a large supporter, with 51 percent of GFWC MI women on the board.
Director of the Orion Township Library Karen Knox said the turnout was fabulous.
"The dignitaries are here from the county level, and some of the other executives are here and it's great to be able to share this exciting time. We've been together for 100 years and to still be going strong is really incredible for a local organization," Knox said.
"I think it's very important to give back to the community, and this women's federation has been doing this for 100 years," 12th district senatorr Jim Marleau said. "As the budget was very tight the last four or five years, we've had to rely on our churches and social community organizations to improve and pick up some of the things the state was no longer able to do because of the shortfalls in our budget. So I support anybody, any church or organization," Marleau said.