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Posted on: June 26, 2017

Eileen DeVries and Family to Sponsor East Grand Rapids Fourth of July Celebration

Eileen DeVries Family Foundation Logo

Community-wide Event Will Pay Tribute to Longtime Resident and Financial Industry Pioneer

The City of East Grand Rapids and the Eileen Devries Family Foundation announced today that the 2017 Fourth of July Celebration will honor the life of longtime resident Eileen DeVries.

“My mother always said she ‘wanted to go out with a bang,’” daughter Rachel Mraz said. “Supporting the Fourth of July Celebration seemed one of the best ways we could make this happen for her. She very much loved the East Grand Rapids community so we hope everyone will come out to celebrate her incredible life and the place we’re lucky to call home.”

DeVries, who died on May 16, was known locally and nationally for her more than 40-year career as a top advisor at Merrill Lynch. An avid golfer, she also pioneered women’s golf rights in 1992 by successfully bringing State legislation forward that banned discrimination against women for prime tee times on weekends. A lifelong lover of gardening, DeVries travelled the world to see unique gardens, eventually having an orchid, the Eileen DeVries Vanda, named after her.

“Eileen was a firecracker of a woman, so it seems only natural to honor her this way,” Mayor Amna Seibold said. “We are grateful to her family for supporting the Fourth of July Celebration, which has become an annual tradition in our City.”

The day will include free family-friendly activities from morning until night. All events, except the Reeds Lake Trail Blazer and parade, will be held in John Collins Park. A list of this year’s events includes:

  • 8:30 a.m.: Reeds Lake Trail Blazer 5K to support the EGR Community Foundation. More information is at https://www.reedslaketrailblazer.com/.
  • Noon – 1 p.m.: Parade. Note that last year’s new route will continue, beginning at the Sherman/Wealthy intersection, continuing east on Wealthy, turning left on Lakeside and ending at Reeds Lake Boulevard
  • Noon: Shafer Concessions, Pizza Parliament and What the Truck open
  • 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.: Family fun including inflatables, airbrush tattoos, balloon animals and face painting
  • 1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.: Grand City Show Skiers performance on Reeds Lake
  • 3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.: Enny Owl, indie folk singer
  • 8 p.m. – Dusk: Hark Up performance
  • Dusk: Fireworks over Reeds Lake

The City is still accepting parade entries; there is no charge to enter a float or vehicle. Those wishing to participate can enter until 5 p.m. on June 30. 

For more information please visit http://www.eastgr.org/index.aspx?nid=182, call the Parks and Recreation department at 616.949.1750, contact Susan Perry at sperry@eastgr.org or follow the City on Facebook and Twitter.


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