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Play matters because people matter. It reminds us of our interdependence and gives us a chance to really see other people. And in turn, to be really and truly seen.

­—Jill Vialet, Founder of Playworks


Over the last 23 years, the museum has joyfully cultivated opportunities for educational play experiences for children and families - I am unable to go anywhere without hearing about a favorite memory from a child, high school student, or even you!

Enclosed are the highlights of the FY 2019 Grand Rapids Children’s Museum Impact Report. Prior to temporarily closing our doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had record high attendance and membership numbers - proof that the work the museum is doing is critical. Our Board is led by two physicians, Dr. Carolyn King (Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist) and Dr. Abeba Berhane (Pediatrician), who have been steadfast in their support and counsel. We are leading children’s museums in the nation in equitable access through our Museums for All program and our partnerships with the Early Learning Neighborhood Collaborative and Grand Rapids Public Schools.

Our country and our community have experienced unprecedented hardships in the last months. A global pandemic is challenging the ways we make connections. The Black Lives Matter Movement is challenging the way we acknowledge and disrupt systemic racism. We all know that children are resilient, and that resilience is fostered and enhanced through play. Now more than ever, play is essential for the healthy development of children. Using play as a learning tool, we are able to help children to grow into adults who are empathetic and are able to make their world a better place.

As I write this letter, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge and reflect on the many women who came before me who embraced the mission of the Children’s Museum. Women, like the ebullient Deb Bailey, a pillar of our community that we recently lost. Deb Bailey believed in the work of the museum so much that she brought her grandchildren in to play every week. Our founding mothers--Carla Morris, Alyce Greeson, Aleicia Woodrick and Georgia Gietzen--have shared stories of their perseverance in changing the mindset of play as a frivolous activity to a critical component of healthy mental, physical, and social-emotional outcomes for children.

Having the privilege of knowing these insightful women and their leadership skills is one of the reasons why we will passionately continue our mission in both cheerful and tough times. Our playful spirit is stronger than ever and will continue to be long into the future.

Thank you for your support. Thank you for believing in our mission. 


Playfully and gratefully,

Maggie Lancaster, CEO (of play)


2019 HIGHLIGHTS >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>







Artboard 9

Artboard 9

















Artboard 23

Artboard 23





2019 Expenses Total $1,892,707

Programs $1,412,398

General & Administrative $320,202

Fundraising $160,107


2019 Revenue Total $3,262,866

MEDC Grant $1,500,000

Donations $917,590

Admissions $542,455

 Membership $222,633

 Other $44,738

 Rentals $35,450


Allen, Trent

Allied Mechanical Services, Inc.


Andrus, Celia & Larry


Anton, Michael & Charlotte

App, Richard & Monica Steimle-App

Arnie's Bakery, Inc.


Atherton, Julia

Autism Support of Kent County

Autocam Medical

Backstrom, Brian

Bailey, Deb

Balk, James & Shirley

Bank of America

Banta, Beth & Ted

Barnes, Max & Becky

Bee Steel, Inc

Bentley, Thomas & Robin

Berhane, Abeba

Bertram, Sharon & Pat

Betancourt, Art & Kate

Betz, Kenneth & Brewer, Patricia

Biggby Coffee

Blackmon, Willie & Tasha

Bollaert, Jared & Sydney

Bongard, Dennis & Marlene

Boost Mobile

Bordner, Mark & Shirley

Bova, Donna

Boxed Water is Better LLC

Bradford, Veronica & Derek

Bradshaw, Lorenzo

Brame, Tracey

Breay, Jim & Jean

Breukink, Kirk & Amy

Britton, Brian

Brown, Danny & Erika

Brown, Matt

Buddy's Holding Company, LLC

Burnson, Elizabeth & Bob

Burress, Shanan

Buth, Danielle

Buursma, Jeffrey & Kristin

Calkins, Gabrielle & Thompson, Anne

Camira Fabrics

Campbell, Laura

Capozza, Richard

Cardwell, Robert

Cassady, John & Heather

CDV5 Family Foundation

Century Floorspace

Charles, Amy

Cheeze Kurls Inc.

Chemical Bank

Christy, Sharon J.

Christopher, Jennifer

Churchill Porter Elementary

City of Grand Rapids

Clappison, Dan & Tara

Conroy, Timothy

Construction Workforce Development Alliance

Cordes, John & Carol

Cornerstone Architects

Cox, Edward & Linda

Cranson, Elizabeth & Jeff

Crescentini, Vinci

Crison, Erin & Jeremy Aungst

Crowe, Greg & Kathleen

CS Erickson

CSM Services LLC

Cullen, William & Susan

Damore, Barbara S.

David & Carol Van Andel Family Foundation

Davis, Michael

Dawson, Ray & Elly Barnette

Decker, Tina Freese & Jason

Dekraker, Megan

Delta Dental of Michigan

DeVito, Kerry & Luke

DeWilde, Mandy & Michael

Dewpoint IT


Dick & Betsy DeVos Family Foundation

Diocesan Publications


Dobson, Jolynne

Donovan, Kevinn & Janine

Doug & Maria DeVos Foundation

Dubey, Chelsea & Jeff

Durham, Jim & Dawn

Eileen DeVries Family Foundation

Elegance Wigs

El Granjero Mexican Grill

Elmouchi, Darryl & Sarah

Enchanted Gardener, LLC

Endres, Terry & Colleen

Erhardt Construction

Etheridge, Kathleen

EV Construction

Experience Grand Rapids

Fahner, James and Gail

Feagan, TJ

Feenstra, Lori

Feldman, Gerald & Jane

Flaska, Gregory & Dorothy

Fleming, Elaine

Foley & Lardner LLP

Forest Hills Central Middle School

Formsma, Ryan & Stephanie

Foremost Barber Shop

Forte, Sonja

Fox, Tom & Mickie


Frey Foundation

Frier, Angela

Fulton Street Farmers Market

Gaddy, Arlen-Dean & Sandra

Gaydou, Dan & Lou Ann

Gensler, Kate

Gilbert, Kate

Gilbert, Ryan

Glenn Morris & Associates

Golomb, Katie

Gootjes, Kristin & Tom

Gordon Food Service

Graft, Erica

Grand Central Market

Grand Rapids Bicycle Company

Grand Rapids Community Foundation

Grant, Kristian

Greer, Lauren

Gregory, David & Meloche-Gregory, Nicole

Grover, Max

H & S Companies

Hale, Mauree

Hall, Briana & Jacob

Hall, Natalie & Omar

Hannigan, Jack & Vickie

Hansen Balk Steel Treating Company

Hansen, Nicole & Bryon

Hansen, Therese

Hasse, Arthur & Betsy

Hatfield, Erick

Hayes, Chantal

Health Net of West Michigan

Hebert, Brad

Hebreard, Dana & Michael

Heemstra, Lynn

Heidema, Gilbert

Hendershot, Tom & Carol

Hesseman, Jim & Debbie

Hibbard, Helene

Hill, Barbara

Hockstra, David & Donna

Hoexum, Heather & Chris

Hodgkins, Sarah

Hollenbeck, Phil

Hollenbeck, Phillip G.

Hondorp, Shawn


Horizon Bank

Howland, Michael & Pamela

Hufnagel, Bill & Kim

Huizenga, J.C. & Tammy

Huizinga, Steve & Stacy

Hungerford Nichols CPAs + Advisors

Hutchings, Kelly

Icon Sign Company, LLC

Irwin, Win & Kyle

J & H Family Stores

J. Visser Design

Jager, Sandy & Kevin

Jandernoa Foundation

Jereb, Heather & Greg

Jimmy John's

Jones, Cara & Mike

Joseph, Jason & Kelly

Jurkovic, Mandy & Goran

Kaiser, Jeff

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts

Karl, Justin & Laura

Keller Foundation

Kelley Cawthorne

Kent District Library

Kettering Family Foundation

Keyser Insurance Group

King, Carolyn

King, Rachel

King, Tony & Lisa Oliver

Kloostra, Brigid & Kraig

Klotz Family Foundation

Knape, Glenna & Herbert

Knight, Lisa

Koop, Al & Robin Horder

Koster, Tim

Krueger, Mary & Blake

Krupinski, Christopher

Kurz, Irwin

Lake Michigan Credit Union

Lam, Geoffrey

Lamfers, Mike & Brenda

Lancaster, Don & Marilyn

Lancaster, Scott & Maggie

Lantern Coffee Bar & Lounge

Lara, Kate

Larson, Bob

Lautenbach, Steve

Layman, Dan & Moore, Kristine

Lee, Julie

Lee, Paul & Jessica

Lee, Rachel

Leonard, David & Amy

Lewis, Cherai M.

Lewis, Marcie & Mark

Lothschutz, Paul & Kim

Luttenton, Charles & Mary

Lynema, Dan & Andria

M.R. Metzger Family Foundation

MadCap Coffee

Maguire, Matthew

Manning, Dan & Deb Kalinka

Marchand, Neil

Maycroft, Terry

McCarthy, James

McCarthy, Terrence & Amber

McDonald, William & Mary Ann

McGhee, Jason & Kania

McLoughlin, Mary

McMillon, Joan M.

McNeilly, John

MCPc The Data Protection Company

McShane & Bowie PLC

Mead, Bob & Pat


Melvin-Gholston, Myesha

Mercantile Bank of Michigan

Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs

Michigan Economic Development Corporation

Midwest Capital Advisors LLC

Milkovich, Keri & Matt

Millar, Mark & Tara

Miller Johnson Attorneys

Miller, Duke

Miller, Howard (Buzz) J.

Miller, Jack H.

Miller, Nancy

Mitchell, Angela

Mnemonix Technology Consulting, LLC

Mobile GR & Parking Services

Moore, Denny & Kimberly

Morris, Glenn & Carla

Morse, Katey

Moyer, Tonja

Muir, Mary

Mulligan, Terri

NAPA Auto Parts

National Heritage Academies

Neal, Leslie

Nelis, Karin

Nelson, Angela

Nemitz, Tom & Luann

Network for Good

New Holland Brewing Co.

Nonprofit Technical Assistance Fund

Notions Marketing

O'Gorman, Alison

Olivarez, Juan & Mary

Oudbier, James

Our Kitchen Table

Outman, Kathryn

Outman, Lauren

Panera Bread

Paradiso, Liz

Paradiso, Nick & Cindy

Paradiso, Nick & Terry

Parent, Polly

Paris, Dorothy

Park, David & Deborah

Parker, John & Mary

Parr, Donna

Patin, Ken

Patterson, Linda

Pawl, Brenda

Paws With A Cause

Payment, Jamie

Penland, Brandan

Persons, Tom & Denise

Peter Albertini Properties, LLC

Pierson, Larry

Place, Glenn & Claudia

Plante Moran

Plunkett, Timothy

PNC Foundation

Poole, Jody & Andrew

Pope, Lynne & Sanchez, Carlos

Posthumus, Ruth & Feyen, Marlin

Potter, Brian & Essy

Powell-May, Tanya D.

Preston, Laurie

Price, Nika & Marcel

Priority Health

Progressive AE

Pullen, Karen & Dave

Randall, Tara

Ratuszny, Jeff

Reagan Marketing + Design, LLC


Reidsma, Martha

Rietberg, Dale & Sharon

Rieth-Riley Construction

Ripp, Angela

Robinson, Amy & Tony

Rockford Construction

Rodammer, Nick & Nicole

Rosenthal, Jeffrey & Sherry

Ross, Helena

Roussey, Tony & Carolyn

S. Abraham & Sons

Scarlett, James & Bonnie

Schaub, Robert & Marcia

Schnelker, Jason & Windy

Schnelker, Rassi & McConnell, PLC

Scholler, Steve & Anne

Schra, Lisa

Schumacher, Erik & Kellianne

Sebastian Foundation

Setlock, Scott & Christina

Sherry, Chris (Charles) & Kari

Shultz, Todd

Smith, Hilary & Jared

Smith, Sharon

Sorensen, Scott & Susan

Sorovigas, Stella


Spectrum Health


Steelcase Foundation

Steenwyk, Laura & Dan

Stella, Fred & Thome, Teresa

Stoppels, Kelley & Hughes, Shawn

Stratton, Casey & Stratton-Lindsay, Kurt

Stratton, Nick & Tricia

Sweet, Kayle

Sword, Katherine & Jarod

Tadlock, Eddie

Taggart, Mindy

Talbot, Jenna

Tamales Mary

Tanis, Katelyn

Targosz, Daryl & Cami

Taylor, Happy

Taylor, Matt & Bethany

Teeter, Geoffrey

TenHarmsel, Michael & Lynn

The Apothecary

The Breton Group

The Dog Pit

The Gremel Group, Inc.

The Kendall Group

The Winchester

Thompson-Busch, Angela

Titche, Marilyn

Traxler, Laura

Trimer, Margaret

Umstead, Linda

Universal Wireless Inc.

Valley Truck Parts Inc.

VandenBerg, Richard & Mary

Vanderband, Patricia

Vanderleek, Scott & Melissa

VanderRoest, Julie & Ryan

VanderVeen, Johanna

Varnum Attorneys At Law LLP

Vaughn, Shanda

Vault Of Midnight

Vector Distribution, LLC

Via Design

Vos Graham, Linda & Ken Graham

W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Wabeke, Douglas & Cindy

Walkendorf, Mark & Lisa

Wallerstein, Ben

Warner, Jan & Thomas

Washington, Ardina & Mark

Watt, Colleen

Wealthy Elementary

Welker, George

Weller Auto Parts

Wells Fargo Foundation

West Michigan District Dental Society

White, Erin & Shannon

Wickstrom, Ben & Jen

Wilcox, Travis & Ellie

Williams, John & Cindy

Williams, Juana & Antwuan

Williams, Timothy & Shoran

Williams Kitchen & Bath

Willit, Greg & Meg Miller

Winslow, Charles & Sopeland, Judy

Wolters, Claire

Wolters, Kate Pew

Wolverine Worldwide Foundation

Wong-Ligda, Ed & Ligda-Wong, Carol

Woodrick, Aleicia & Bob

Worthington, Bob

Wortz, Bill

Wright, Jo & Jack

Yon, Seth & Holland, Jessica

Young, Jonse & Allen

Zahn, Adam



Maggie Lancaster

CFO & Director of Human Resources

Sharon Bertram


Erin Crison

Office Manager & IT

Juli Atherton

Director of Exhibits

Jake Bouck

Membership Manager

Megan Geiken

Director of Education

Lauren Greer

Program Manager

Rachael Kaniewski

Facilities Manager

Moe Zamarron

Database, Grants, & Volunteer Manager

Bridgette McGee

Accessibility & Inclusion Manager

Rachel McKay

Administrative Coordinator

Jess Rios

Educational Outreach Manager

Lianna Tagle

Development Manager

Natalie Hall


Skye Thomas

Lead Floor Manager & Rental Coordinator

Carly Eck


Board President

Carolyn King, MD, Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, 

C. King Psychiatry

Past Board President

Michael Lamfers, Plante Moran

President Elect

Abeba Berhane, MD, HDVCH, Spectrum Health

Vice President

Jason Schnelker, Schnelker, Rassi, & McConnell, PLC

Board Treasurer & Secretary

Paul Lothschutz, H&S Companies

Member at Large

Kelley Stoppels, Miller Johnson


Jolynne Dobson, Byron Center Public Schools

David Gregory, Kelley Cawthorne

Steve Huizinga, Allied Mechanical Services, Inc.

Sandy Jager, Mercantile Bank

Jason Joseph, Spectrum Health

Mandy Jurkovic, Community Advocate

Terrence McCarthy, PNC Bank

Carla Morris, Glenn Morris & Associates

Angela Nelson, Experience GR

Lisa Oliver-King, Our Kitchen Table

Nick Paradiso, National Heritage Academies

John Parker, EV Construction

Dale Rietberg, Varnum, LLP

Kari Sherry, Community Advocate

Sharon Smith, Aquinas College

Ed Wong-Ligda, Fine Artist


We are an environment for play.

We advocate for the value of play.

We build minds through play.

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