Oldest Toastmasters Club in Michigan Still Talk of the Town on its 70th Birthday | News
Often listed among the top 10 fears people have, public speaking is a skill that can help anyone regardless of their age or background. Whether it’s at school, work or among friends and family, the ability to speak in front of an audience – even if it’s an audience of one – can be the key to future success. Thus, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the oldest Toastmasters International organization in Michigan – located here in Grand Rapids – continues to thrive as it celebrates its 70th birthday.
Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. With more than 345,000 members around the world, Toastmasters empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders by providing a safe, supportive and structured setting for its members to acquire and practice meaningful communications and leadership skills on a regular basis to promote and enhance career and personal growth.
Grand Rapids Toastmasters Club #404 was founded on November 1, 1946. Club #404 is the only Toastmasters club in Michigan distinguished by a personal visit by Toastmasters International Founder, Dr. Ralph Smedley, back in 1947. Today, the club is still going strong with about 45 local members from a wide spectrum of ages, backgrounds, experience and skill levels. Additionally, the local group has been recognized as a President’s Distinguished Toastmaster’s Club, the highest honor a club can achieve.
Club #404 meets every Tuesday night from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Heather Hills Retirement Community, located at 1055 Forest Hills Drive SE in Cascade. Members are encouraged to attend as often as they can and guests are always welcome to participate in meetings.
“We enjoy dynamic meetings with attendance that bursts at the seams,” said Sandy Cares, president of Club #404. “Our members regularly attest to the value derived from weekly practice. The focus of all participation boils down to constructive, nurturing and honest feedback to further personal and professional development. We’re thrilled to be turning 70 and can’t wait to see what we will accomplish in the next 70 years.”
For more information on Grand Rapids Toastmasters Club #404, visit grandrapids.toastmastersclubs.org.