History of Michigan Week

 

“Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy.  You vote in elections once a year, but when you volunteer, you vote everyday about the kind of community you want to live in”  ~ Author Unknown

Our Story: In 1972, former Superintendent of West Bloomfield Schools, Dr. Anthony Witham, thought it was time to add Greater West Bloomfield (GWB) to the list of communities in the State of Michigan that celebrate Michigan Week.  He gathered school, government, business and community leaders to brainstorm a week long calendar of events that would showcase strong local values, talent and excellence. In the early years, there was an annual parade along with Government Day (young people shadowing government leaders) and Spiritual Foundation Day ( Open Houses at Places of Worship). However, no event captured the imagination and hearts of the planning committee like the awards breakfast. The GWB Michigan Week Community Awards Breakfast is the only original local Michigan Week event consistently celebrated since 1972.

Today, the communities of Keego Harbor, Sylvan Lake, Orchard Lake Village, and West Bloomfield Township continue to champion an awards breakfast that celebrates community achievement and volunteer leadership.  Locally, the tradition of  Michigan Week, has grown into Michigan Month and the GWB Community Awards Breakfast now includes significant involvement from Bloomfield Hills Schools, Walled Lake Schools and West Bloomfield Schools.  

 Local Michigan Week events have changed over the years but according to state officials, the “Greater West Bloomfield community continues to have one of the oldest and most vibrant Michigan Week celebrations in the entire state (Detroit Free Press, 5/21/2006)”.   It is no wonder that the weeklong celebration has turned into a entire month of festivities.   

 DID YOU KNOW:  

The first local GWB Michigan Week Community Awards Breakfast was held at  Rotunda Inn. 

Jack Doherty, former West Bloomfield Township Supervisor,  was chairperson of the 1st GWB Michigan Week Community Awards Breakfast.

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