Past Events and Activities Archive
Our calendar for the current year is available on the home page for download.
Check it out and join us whenever you can.
Besides our monthly meetings, the Western Washtenaw Democrats sponsor various
outreach, civic, and community-building activities. We've kept a section of
M-52 clean since 2005 as part of the Adopt-a-Highway program. In 2005 we
raised more than $3000 to help upgrade playground equipment at North Creek
Elementary School in Chelsea.
In 2006 we sponsored a Democratic candidates' forum at the Chelsea Depot
prior to the primary election. We also brought in Michigan Democratic
Party Chairman Mark Brewer at the same venue to discuss party challenges
and strategies for the upcoming elections.
On September 30, 2006, the WWDems hosted a good-ole community-building pep-rally
barn bash in Dexter. And many of our people volunteered long hours
to help identify like-minded voters and encourage them to get
to the polls during the elections.
OK, we've done a ton of other things, each year since 2009.
But this page has not been updated.
Check out some of our long-past activities below, and watch our Facebook page for more.
CROP Hunger Walk: Looking Out For Each Other
When: Sunday, October 4, 1:30 to 4:00 pm
Thank You for Making a Difference
The WW Dems are fielded their first-ever team
in the Chelsea/Dexter Area CROP Hunger Walk on October 4, 2009.
CROP stands for Communities Responding to Overcome Poverty.
The first Hunger Walk was held in 1969, and each year, some 2,000 communities across the U.S.
sponsor CROP Hunger Walks.
Hunger walks have been held in Chelsea since 1988, so we are in the third decade of
local people coming together to fight poverty and hunger at home and abroad.
Every CROP Hunger Walk also directly supports the local community that participates in it.
In the Chelsea/Dexter area, Faith In Action receives
15% of what is raised by local walkers.
Our team raised $500 in sponsorships and donations - not bad for our first time. Next year, we'll do even better.
In tough times, this financial support is critical for responding to local needs.
Thanks so much for pitching in. Looking out for each other in tough times is a value we all share.
Contact current Western Washtenaw Dems Secretary and Team Captain
for further information.
Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society
When: Saturday, May 16, 10:00am thru Sunday, May 17, 10:00am
The Western Washtenaw Democrats participated in the Chelsea Relay for Life for the first time this year.
Although the weather felt more like November than May, a good time was had by all. The number of teams,
volunteers, survivors, caregivers, and friends & family who turn out for this event is truly
At the opening lap, the Chelsea Relay had raised $48,000 towards its goal of $94,000.
At the closing ceremony, the amount pledged had risen to $79,000. That's a lot of dough, but the Chelsea
Relay still needs $15,000 to hit that magic number. If you can help, there's still time to support
cancer research with a donation. You know what to do!
Our team collected $1650 in donations
leading up to the big day, and also participated in the rummage sale and silent auction during the Relay.
Now that we know the drill, next year should be even more fun and more successful.
A few of our team members are pictured above, including Chris Savage, Ann Savage,
Roy Schmidt, Bernadette Malinoski, Thomas Knox, and Elsie Swanberg. Guerin Wilkinson and many others
were also on the track during the long day and night. We made a good showing, and
also fielded relayers during the Pirate Lap, Camoflage Lap, and other fun themed events during the day.
There are more
pix at our photostream - check it out.
Thanks so much to all who participated!
Contact current Western Washtenaw Dems Chair and our Relay for Life Team Captain
for further information.
Farm to School Program Summary
When: Thursday, April 30, 7:00pm
Where: McKune Room at the Chelsea District Library
Photos and Meeting Notes
Thanks to all who attended and participated!
Food Service Supervisors Karen Carty (Chelsea School District),
Julie Harsh (Saline Area Schools) and Sara Simmerman
(Dexter Community Schools) join Michaelle Rehmann of Food System Economic Partnership (FSEP)
and Deb Lentz (Tantre Farm) met with local citizens to discuss the obstacles that both
the schools and the farms face when trying to start a Farm to School program. The issues touch on budgets, regulation, and
legal matters. Michaelle also helped us navigate recent legislation passed in Michigan, in other states, and at the federal level.
Turnout was great and a there was a vigorous discussion. Some pics of the event are just below.
Program fliers and handouts are still available:
Want to know more? Follow these links:
Contact current Western Washtenaw Dems Vice Chair
for further information.
Spring Fundraiser Success!
When: Sunday, May 3
Where: Feller Residence in Chelsea
Photos and Fundraiser Notes
Thanks to all our supporters and donors!
This year's fundraiser was held at the home of Dr. Irving and Cynthia Feller
who graciously agreed to host our supporters for brunch. Jack Lessenberry (political journalist and host of
Michigan Radio's "Jack Lessenberry’s Essays and Interviews") was our featured speaker.
The event was well-attended and
Mr. Lessenberry's talk led to a good deal of discussion about what Democrats in Michigan should be doing in these
difficult economic times.
In previous years funds gathered at similar events have enabled the Western Washtenaw Democrats to:
- host public events and programs,
- create and mail 20,000+ Western Washtenaw County Voter Guides,
- and manage an enormous poll greeter program on Election Day 2008.
Next year we have even more work to do, and to all those who supported us with their time, donations-in-kind, and
contributions, we are deeply grateful.
Western Washtenaw Democrats "Kick some grass!" in Spring 2009
When: Sunday, April 26
Where: M-52 between Chelsea and Manchester
Yes, we did!
A sturdy bunch of volunteer Western Washtenaw Democrats cleaned up our stretch of M-52 on Sunday, April 26, as we do
three times a year. We are proud to report that the two miles of M-52 running south from Scio Church Road are now buffed, shiny, and
ready for your driving pleasure.
We began at 1pm and finished before 3:30pm, thanks to the numerous members and friends who turned out. Thanks to all who
participated! The spring cleanup is usually the toughest due to the accumulated flotsam and jetsam of the winter months.
We'll be doing this again in July and September so you still have a chance to kick some grass as you search for
hidden "treasures" along the roadside. Stay tuned for more details. M-52 needs you!
Adopt-A-Highway Summer Cleanup 2009
When: Sunday, July 12
Where: M-52 between Chelsea and Manchester
We had SIX volunteers who cleaned up our stretch of M-52 on July 12. More hands
would have made lighter work, but the team soldiered on and finished the job in record time.
All hail these doughty Dems:
- Bernadette Malinoski
- Erick Erickson
- Charlie Nielsen
- Adam Zemke
- Pat Kaminsky
- Jeff Prenevost
Sadly, due to insuperable technical difficulties, no pictures are available.
Never fear if you missed it. You'll get your chance to pitch in because
we'll be doing it again in September! Stand by
for a call to action when the date draws nigh.
To help you gird your loins for this project, you should know that it's not that bad.
- We don't pick up dead things (i.e., flattened raccoons), sharp and/or dangerous objects
(never encountered yet), cigarette butts, syringes (never encountered yet), and stuff that has
blown down into the ditches way off the shoulder.
- We do get visible bottles, cans, fast-food wrappers
and other items of cosmetic concern.
That's all there is to it!
You're Welcome, Western Washtenaw County: Fall 2009
When: Sunday, September 13, 1:00pm
Corner of Scio Church and M-52 Find it!
Adopt-A-Highway: Yes We Did!
Our last M-52 roadside clean-up for 2009 is in the bag.
Actually, it's in eight bags, because that's how much trash we picked up
on Sunday afternoon. Yeah!
Many thanks to everybody who turned out. It was a mini-jumbo crew this
time around, but we still covered our two miles in just over two hours. The next clean-up will
be in the spring of 2010 - hope to see you all then.
February Membership Meeting Wrapup
We kept our meeting trim so we could carpool over to see Mark Schauer (D-MI7) in Dexter immediately after at his Town Hall.
centered around our Spring Fundraiser - dates and special guest are still not firm. We will likely push until April or May. We also discussed our various program
plans for the year, and tried to zero in on community activities to get involved in. Our calender will be updated shortly with
dates for the Western Washtenaw area Relay for Life and CROPWalk events, so stay tuned.
No officer reports were given.
Please note there will be no member meeting in March.
The big event in April will be our program/roundtable on Farm To School programs, barriers, and
opportunities in Western Washtenaw. Hence, there will no member meeting that month either. Stay tuned
for more information on the program schedule and location.
Which brings us to our next member meeting in May! That event will be our annual Happy Hour to enjoy
springtime fresh air, friendly conversation, and the beverage(s) of your choice. We will be meeting on Thursday, May 21 at 6:00pm
at the Creekside Grill at 5827 Jackson Road in Ann Arbor.
See you there?
Annual Meeting Wrapup
Annual calendar from our January 29, 2009 meeting
At our annual meeting a draft calendar of events (updated 07/14/09)
for 2009 was presented to the membership. This calendar is subject to change - check the website for the most up-to-date information. Member meetings
and community events are firm, but our three programs and Spring Fundraiser still need to have their dates established.
Minutes from the meeting,
including the officers reports, notes from the presentation by Roland Sizemore, and club election results will be posted shortly.
Celebrating Obama History
An Inaugural Ball at the Chelsea Depot, January 20, 2009
With a Sold-Out, Standing-Room-Only Crowd!
When: Tuesday, January 20, 7:00pm to 11:00pm
Historic Chelsea Depot - Find it!
Reservations: TOTALLY SOLD OUT!
About the Ball
Tuesday, January 20th will be an historic day for the nation when President-elect Barack Obama
takes the Oath of Office for President of the United States. In celebration of this momentous occasion, the
Western Washtenaw Democrats will host an Inaugural Ball at the historic Chelsea Depot at 7pm.
The idea for the celebration came from WWDems member Mary Waldron, who was so happy for
Obama's victory that she believed a party was not only a good idea, but something the whole
community would appreciate.
The WWDems will be utilizing the whole Depot space, and will be placing projected
screens up to allow party-goers to watch events in Washington, D.C. that night as well.
Live music will be provided by the James Dapogny Trio. Dapogny is a music professor at the University of Michigan,
and is a renowned expert on jazz music.
We are both pleased and saddened to say that we have reached capacity at the Depot,
and are no longer able to offer tickets. For questions or more information about the celebration, you may still call 734-475-4434.
Even though our dance card is full, you can look for other inaugural parties and celebrations in the local area
via MoveOn's website. We're
sorry you can't join us, but we wish you good luck getting your own party started on January 20, 2009.
Yes, We Did!
Chelsea Inaugural Ball Poem: January 20, 2009
'The Blues Conception of Hope'
© 2009, Richard Solomon
I: Election Night
I'm afraid to believe he could win tonight.
If you aren't paranoid you aren't right.
I have seen the past arriving for too long
Bringing its sadness into the future like throngs
of refugees fleeing 'The Bomb',Vietnam,
global warming, genocide, Iraq—
with no country to go back to.
What if, after the confetti, the promises fade
and the K Street boys buy up the country again.
Like those poor folks on their rooftops in New Orleans,
We've been waiting and waiting—it seems
Like forever—for the floodwaters to subside.
But the blues conception of hope is still alive.
He beat the Hillary artillery. Doesn't put on Ayers.
And he is the Wright man
With everyone else Palin by comparison.
He's been Biden his time and his time is now.
OK. Deep breath. My heart's beating in my throat.
What's the latest tally of the votes
Of the Red states and Blue states in these United States?
He's going to win. He's going to win!
A n American again.
M y man!
II: Grant Park
Now don't make fun of me for crying.
Deep within the disheartened is a blues conception of hope.
And he is heartening for the disheartened.
Look at Jesse Jackson. Look at Oprah crying
Look at the hundred thousand joyous Americans
Gathered around him like a dream of hope in Grant Park.
Look at him: Tall, gangly, better looking than Lincoln.
In love with his family. All gods children his children.
Calm, present, beaming, beatific, clapping for
The people, by the people, and of the people.
His victory, our proof at last; up from the unlikeliest past.
Black, white, Muslim, Christian, Everyman on stage
his smile like one big YES Young and old,
WE move on.race.religion.gender.earth CAN
The arc of history bent to the hope of a better day
The hope of slaves sitting around the fire
Singing freedom songs. Of immigrants
setting out for distant shores arriving at last.
From the back of the bus to the White House!!
In no other country at no other time.
E pluribus unum baby!
Such a night. Such a night.
"If there is anyone who still doubts
That America is a place
Where all things are possible
Who still wonders if the dream
Of our founders is alive in our time
Who still questions the power
Of our democracy
Tonight is your answer!"
It's been a long time coming.
And our time has come!!