- Associated Press - Thursday, January 19, 2017

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - A Grand Rapids Polish hall will allow women to become official members for the first time in its nearly 90-year history.

MLive (https://bit.ly/2iX0o34 ) reports that as many as 30 women are scheduled to be granted membership at St. Ladislaus Aid Society on Feb. 14.

“There isn’t really any reason why they shouldn’t be able to,” said Club Treasurer Dick Droski.

Discussion for the change came during Pulaski Days 2016, when more female volunteers came to work at the club than male volunteers. Over the course of the last eight months, current members voted to allow women members into the club on three different occasions.

“I think the older members are kind of going by the wayside,” said Club President Dave Kroon. “The newer members are saying ‘This is the 21st century. It’s time to get with the times.’”

Andie Crapsey, who was crowned 2016-2017 Grand Rapids Pulaski Queen, will become the Polish hall’s first female member. Her family has long supported St. Ladislaus.

“We thought she would be the perfect person to be the first female member,” Kroon said.

Grand Rapids currently has 14 Polish halls. St. Ladislaus Aid Society is one of the few Polish halls in the city that doesn’t allow women to become members.

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Information from: The Grand Rapids Press:MLive.com, https://www.mlive.com

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