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Women's Equality Day Celebration & Reception Guest Speaker: First Lady Michelle Engler

August 22, 2001 - Michigan's First Lady Michelle Engler will be the special guest speaker at Women's Equality Day, a celebration commemorating women's right to vote, Thursday, August 23, 2001, 5-7p.m., at Aquinas College, Jarecki Center for Advanced Learning. The event is sponsored by Women's Resource Center in partnership with Aquinas College. A reception with Mrs. Engler prior to the celebration will take place from 4-5 p.m. at Aquinas College, Donnelly Conference Center. The reception is underwritten by Varnum Riddering Schmidt Howlett LLP. Celebration tickets are $15.00. Reception tickets, which include the celebration, are $100.00. "Exercising the right to vote is one of the most powerful ways that women can have a voice in public policy," says Terri Land, coordinator for the event. "Women's Equality Day serves as an opportunity to remind women about the importance of voting and that it does make a difference." Women won the right to vote in 1922, 144 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed. Since that time women have continued to gain influence in the public policy arena, from voting to holding public office. In addition, women have increasingly served in other roles that can impact the public and policy, such as serving on state boards and commissions. Women's Equality Day guest speaker, First Lady Michelle Engler, has raised the visibility of state issues through her service on boards, commissions, and projects. Mrs. Engler is founding chair of the Michigan Community Service Commission, which encourages state citizens, especially young people, to make a commitment to community service. Mrs. Engler also serves on several boards including the Points of Light Foundation and the Michigan Nonprofit Association. She received the Karmanos Cancer Institute's Award for Leadership for her work promoting breast cancer awareness. She is also Chair of Michigan's First Ladies Build, a part of a national program to raise awareness about the opportunities for women in Habitat for Humanity projects. Two local women will also be honored at the celebration with the 2001 Women of "E" Quality Award. These are individuals who have demonstrated a lifetime commitment to improving the quality of life for women in the community by striving to promote equality for women. Co-hosts for this year's event are Joan Secchia and Joan Krause. State Representatives Patricia Berkholz and Joanne Voorhees are honorary Co-hosts.