In the early 1990s, four women, mothers and grandmothers, realized Grand Rapids, Michigan, needed a place for children to play in creative and hands-on ways. Georgia Woodrick Gietzen, Alyce Greeson, Carla Morris, and Aleicia Woodrick decided to do something about it.
In 1993, they opened two successful exhibits for children in a local shopping center. Over 30,000 children got the chance to do play-work by making things in a Funstruction and to fool around with bubbles in the other exhibit. This launch of what would become the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum moved on to donated space in a public library and then the public museum in Grand Rapids.
But the founders knew they needed their own permanent location, and they finally found it at 11 Sheldon Avenue in downtown Grand Rapids. That’s when The Wege Foundation came aboard. Knowing of Peter’s generosity, his support for downtown Grand Rapids, and, above all, his love of young people and education, the women knew it wouldn’t’ be a hard sell.
It wasn’t. In October 2007, Peter was honored by the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum for being one of “The Ten Who Made A Difference.” As the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum celebrated the tenth anniversary in its permanent two-story, play-learn facility on Sheldon, they said this about Peter Wege:
Peter’s support for the Children’s Museum comes from his deep love of
children and his profound faith in Education as the single most important
cause running through all the Foundation’s other four missions
(Environment, Arts & Culture, Health Care, and Human Services.)
Anybody who knows Peter sense of humor and love of jokes knows that for him to support a place where children go just to have fun is a natural.
Peter Wege is pictured here with Teresa L. Thome, Executive Director of the GRCM. Find out more about the Children’s Museum by clicking http://www.grcm.org