Monday, July 16, 2012

VBRGS Celebrates 25 Years - Ancestry Day a Rousing Success!

Loretto Szucs
260 plus eager family historians descended on the town of Lawrence, Michigan, Saturday, July 14, for a day-long special event at the Van Buren Conference Center sponsored by the Van Buren Regional Genealogical Society (VBRGS) in celebration of its 25th anniversary.

Four "Ancestry Day" presentations were made by nationally known genealogists Loretto Szucs and her daughter, Julianna Smith, representing the online family history giant,  The sessions, designed to highlight some of the key elements of Ancestry and how best to utilize them, were energetically given with enhanced projected display on three large wall screens. 

Julianna Smith
Those in attendance were treated to morning refreshments of donuts & coffee and a banquet luncheon.  All were provided with a folder including the day's syllabus materials, a complimentary VBRGS quarterly & select brochures.  Also provided, while supplies lasted, were complimentary issues of the American Ancestors magazine made available by the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS).

Also available for the day were large vendor tables sponsored by VBRGS and NEHGS (hostess Judith Halseth), where visitors had opportunity to view or purchase from a large array of genealogy & local history books, explore membership options, and ask general questions.

Toni Benson
As part of the 25th anniversary celebration, during lunch a 30-minute society overview was given by the group's immediate past president, Toni Benson, including a slide show of photographs & exhibits from VBRGS's illustrious history, and also stressing the crucial role that genealogical societies still play in preservation and access.

Special recognition was given to Joyce Beedie, VBRGS president, and Ann Flora, program chairman, for their integral part in planning the day's events.  Other volunteers for the day included:  Jerry Anderson, Conrad Burton, Carol Kesteloot, Robert Cooley, Faith Rogers, and Pam Pender.

All-in-all, the day was a huge success and a new highlight in VBRGS's long history.  Stay tuned as they continue to foster community interest in their activities & collection.

Nameless Picture of the Day
Photographer - Horton's Studio, Gobleville
"Mrs. J. B. Mason #3 Allegan, Otsego" written on back

Can you identify the man in this cabinet card?  Do you have knowledge of the photographer?  Please contact us if you have any information and we will publish it in a future blog.  Please include the photo's catalog number with your e-mail.