Willard birthday celebration at historic landmark home

The 175th birthday of a famous Evanston resident, Frances Willard, has inspired a “Willard Leadership Weekend” schedule of events.

All of the events are designed to reconnect the community with the true story of Frances Willard’s revolutionary work as a feminist and reformer, capturing her “Do Everything” spirit for action on issues that face our community today.   On Sunday, September 28, we “Celebrate the Willard in Us All” with the unveiling of a new exhibit and festivities at the Willard House at 1730 Chicago Avenue, Evanston.  Information and registration may be found at www.franceswillardhouse.org.   

On Sunday, September 28th, the “Celebrating the Frances in Us All” will take place at various locations around Evanston.   First Methodist Church, at 516 Church Street, will host a special presentation on Willard’s life and work at 9:15am, and a tour and viewing of its Frances Willard stained glass window at 11:30am. First Methodist was Willard’s home church and the site of many important events in her life.    Then Willard House, at 1730 Chicago Avenue, will host an open house from 11am to 2pm.   A new exhibit, “Cultivating Character – The Early Life of Frances E. Willard”  will be open and new signage designating the WCTU historic district will be unveiled. In addition, the Ridgeville Band will play songs from the time period and birthday treats will be served on the lawn.  This event is complimentary.

The “Willard Leadership Weekend,” September 27-28, is expected to draw at least 400 community members and to be the pinnacle of the FrancesWillard@175 Campaign.  Visit www.franceswillardhouse.org for more detailed information.

Partners in FrancesWillard@175 include: Alpha Phi Foundation; Evanston History Center; Evanston Women's History Project; First United Methodist Church; Frances Willard Historical Association; League of Women Voters of Evanston; Shorefront Legacy Center; Woman's Club of Evanston.
Participating organizations include: City of Evanston; Curt's Cafe; Peer Services; and YWCA Evanston/North Shore.
Major funding for the Willard Leadership Weekend is provided by a grant from the Evanston Community Foundation.

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