Grosse Ile’s Women’s History Month pays tribute to pioneering aviatrix Amelia Earhart

Grosse Ile, Michigan’s 2010 Women’s History Month focuses on the daring and unconventional Amelia Earhart, the pioneering aviatrix who disappeared in 1937 while attempting to be the first pilot to circumnavigate the globe at the Equator.

Earhart, an author, record-setting pilot, fashion designer, women’s rights advocate and celebrity, participated in several long distance flight training sessions at the Grosse Ile airport.

Four community events celebrating the life of  the fascinating and inspirational Earhart are listed below. All programs are free!

Amelia Earhart Women’s History Month Kick Off Celebration

Friday, March 5, 2010 – 7:30 PM – Grosse Ile Township Boardroom

Island poet Patty Barnes begins the evening by reading an original poem she wrote about Amelia Earhart.  Winning entries of the “Dear Amelia” letter writing contest will be read aloud  with first through third place prizes awarded.

Local author, actor and historian Mark McPherson closes the program with his original presentation “The Mystery of Amelia” which focuses on Earhart’s training days on Grosse Ile. McPherson’s presentation is based on his personal research and first person interviews with those who interacted with Earhart on her visits to Grosse Ile.

Amelia Earhart Biography

Saturday, March 13, 2010 – 1 PM – Grosse Ile Township Boardroom

View the documentary film of Amelia Earhart.  Popcorn and pop served.

My Friend Amelia

Monday, March 15, 2010 – 7:30 PM – St. James Chapel

An original, one-act play written and produced by Judy Dery. The play focuses on the amicable relationship between Amelia Earhart and Dorothy Binney Putnam, the first wife of Amelia’s husband, George Putnam.

The My Friend Amelia cast:

Amelia Earhart………..Debra Dykeman

Dorothy Binney Putnam…………..Judy Dery

George Putnam………………..Mark McPherson

Guest Speaker Pilot Patty Smart followed by Vintage Airplane Tour

Saturday, March 27, 2010 – 1 PM – Grosse Ile Municipal Airport

The final event of the Amelia Earhart Women’s History Month Celebration concludes with a presentation by island resident and pilot  Patty Smart. A guided tour  of four vintage World War II airplanes  housed in hangar one given by a member of the Yankee Air Museum will follow Smart’s talk.

Women’s History Month Book Raffle

At each event, $1 raffle tickets will be sold. Winning ticket holder will be the recipient of the over-sized book 1,000 Years of Women in History. The winner keeps the book for six months then donates it to the Grosse Ile High School media center.

The winner’s name will be inscribed on the book’s name plate in recognition of his or her contribution to the media center’s growing collection of books on noteworthy women provided through previous fund-raising efforts of the Women’s History Month project.

Founding members of the Grosse Ile Women’s History Month committee are Rena Kloska, Irene Will and Pam Frucci. Michelle Lepidi and Karin Risko have joined the committee to help carry out the 2010 program.

Other articles of interest regarding female pilots

Michigan women WWII pilots receive Congressional Gold Medal

Bessie “Queen Bess” Coleman – first black female pilot and first to earn an international pilot’s license

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