Rochester Junior Woman’s Club Will Be Raising Funds for Meadow Brook Hall and Rochester Area Neighborhood House

Jul 1, 2013   //   by RJWC Website   //   Press Releases

Rochester, MI – (July 1, 2013) – The Rochester Junior Woman’s Club (RJWC) recently announced Meadow Brook Hall and Rochester Area Neighborhood House will be the recipients for their 2013-2014 fundraising year.

Each spring the clubs Donations Committee reviews requests submitted by local organizations requesting assistance. Based on the committee’s recommendations, the club selects their annual recipients for their major fundraisers.

The Rochester Junior Woman’s Club has had a long history of assisting both of these organizations over the years. Meadow Brook  will use the funding for the interpretation of Danny Dodge’s, son of John and Matilda Dodge, log cabin and Rochester Area Neighborhood House will use it toward the funding of client programs.

The first recipient, recently named a National Historic Landmark, Meadow Brook is the historic home built by one of the automotive aristocracy’s most remarkable women, Matilda Dodge Wilson, widow of automobile pioneer John Dodge and her second husband, lumber broker Alfred Wilson.

The Hall was the centerpiece of a 1,500 acre estate built during the American Country House Movement when estates of great magnitude were built on the most beautiful country landscapes across America by wealthy industrialists.  Constructed between 1926 and 1929 for $4 million, Meadow Brook is considered to be the finest examples of Tudor revival architecture in America and is especially renowned for its superb craftsmanship, architectural detailing and grand scale of 88,000 square feet. Carefully preserved with original family furnishings, including fine and decorative art, the 110-room mansion is the fourth largest historic house in the United States and the largest in the Midwest.   

Over the year, RJWC will be working to raise funds for the Historical Interpretation of Danny Dodge’s Cabin and Workshop. In January 2013, Danny’s Cabin, the historic log cabin and workshop built for Danny Dodge, son of John and Matilda Dodge, was moved from its original site on the Meadow Brook farm property to a new site near Meadow Brook Hall’s Knole Cottage, the playhouse of Danny’s sister, Frances Dodge.  The objective of the project is to structurally restore the building back to its original design and purpose, to interpret its significance as an important historical asset on the Meadow Brook estate and to utilize the Cabin as a site to host educational and community programs including tours, youth programming and special events.

Meadow Brook Hall completed the building restoration component of the project in June 2013 and will utilize funding received from the Rochester Junior Woman’s Club in 2014 to fully interpret Dan Dodge’s use of the structure and, by extension, boys’ life of the 1920s and 30s.  The interpretive plan will include outfitting the cabin and workshop with original and period furnishings and artifacts and developing interpretive story lines and communication vehicles for use on both guided and self-guided tours.

The plan will focus on two significant time periods: the early years (1926-36) when the log cabin was first built and served as the rustic playhouse for Danny, and the later years (1937-38) when the workshop addition was built and served as his garage for working on engines, cars and other mechanical equipment.

Specifically, Meadow Brook Hall will use the funds to “prop-out” the two rooms with historically accurate furnishings (based on archival research) such as furniture, floor coverings, room accessories, toys, games, tools and hunting and sporting goods. Additionally, The Hall will display a vintage Dodge automobile in the workshop.  

Danny’s Cabin will serve as a site for youth education programs, adult programming and special events that could include a variety of both indoor and outdoor activities, such as antique car rides, sporting activities, special exhibitions, adventure and orienteering programs and social functions.  The Cabin will also serve as a new focal point for visitors who experience The Hall’s new estate/grounds tour.  

 ”We have been fortunate to have worked with Rochester Juniors on previous preservation projects — most recently the club’s funding of the reproduction of the silk wall covering in Matilda Wilson’s bedroom by Scalamandre in New York, the original manufacturer,” said Geoff Upward, executive director of Meadow Brook Hall, “It is especially meaningful to us that such a prominent community organization, particularly one that espouses the contributions of women to the workplace and society, so actively and passionately supports our efforts to preserve and interpret the home and estate of one of our country’s most accomplished, civic-minded and forward-thinking women of the first half of the 20th Century.”

Meadow Brook Hall is located on the grounds of Oakland University; 480 South Adams, Rochester, MI 48309. For more information on Meadow Brook Hall, please or call 248-364-6200.

The second recipient, The Rochester Area Neighborhood House is a nonprofit human services organization that assists individuals in the community during times of hardship. Founded by communities of faith in 1968, they partner with the community and other social service providers to help those individuals move toward self-sufficiency.  Neighborhood House fills basic emergency needs such as food, clothing, housing, utilities and transportation. And, then also support those needs with longer term employment assistance, budget coaching, mental health services and other life skills training.

In an effort to move individuals and families toward self-sufficiency, Rochester Area Neighborhood House provides financial assistance in the areas of shelter, utilities and transportation, food and clothing assistance and other basic needs to those clients who cannot meet these obligations without other means. 

They use a holistic approach to address the underlying cause of financial distress in an effort to help families look at how their request for assistance fits into the total spectrum of their needs. Examples include having a client meet with our job counselor, budget coach or mental health counselor. Through these efforts, the Neighborhood House mission is to move individuals and families who are dealing with a crisis or unexpected downturn in financial conditions toward a higher level of self-sustainability.

Funding received through the Rochester Juniors Woman’s Club will allow Neighborhood House to assist local families in their efforts to move toward self-sufficiency.

“The willingness of the Rochester Junior Woman’s Club to support Neighborhood House demonstrates their confidence in our ability to provide long-term assistance to our community and our local families in need; we take that charge very seriously. We are sincerely honored by their support,”  Linda Riggs, Executive Director of Rochester Area Neighborhood House

For more information on Rochester Area Neighborhood House, please visit or contact Linda Riggs, Executive Director at or 248 651 5836. RANH offices are located at 1234 Inglewood, Rochester, MI 48307.

The club is proud of their partnerships with both of the recipients and is looking forward to fundraising on their behalf over the next year. The first fundraiser will be the club’s 15th annual Lobster Boil which will be held on Saturday September 28, 2013 where live New England lobsters are flown in fresh and members of RJWC cook and wrap the lobsters and have them hot and ready as customers pick them up at the OPC drive-thru site.

The second event the club has planned to raise funds for the recipients will be held on Saturday January 25, 2014 at Meadow Brook Hall. The evening will include tours of the hall, a strolling gourmet dinner, music, dancing and a silent auction. 

The club is also currently planning their annual “Spring Highlights” Luncheon and Shopping Boutique for Saturday March 29, 2014 at the Royal Park Hotel.

For over 50 years the Rochester Junior Woman’s Club has contributed to the growth and vitality of the community through volunteer service and donation of funds to local charities and organizations. Since its inception, the Rochester Junior Woman’s Club has donated more than 1 million hours of community service and raised more than $820,000 to support the local community

For more information on Rochester Junior Woman’s Club, please contact Cyndi at (248) 941-7991 or You can also visit their website at or follow them on Facebook at “Rochester Junior Woman’s Club.”

Press Release Photo - MBH and RANH


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