Gratiot Area Chamber of Commerce & Ithaca Promotional Committee


Ithaca Promotional Committee

A division of the Gratiot Area Chamber of Commerce, the Ithaca Promotional Committee works to promote Ithaca and its activities.  Ithaca Promotional Committee hosts several events through out the year.  Check out the Festival, Events and RC Raceway tab for the most up-to-date information on events! 


Congratulations to Alice Schafer on being named
2017 Ithaca Person of the Year!

Born as Alice Margaret Kenney in North Star township.  Alice married Alan Schafer in 1962.  Together they had three sons and a daughter who passed away in 1997 from Leukemia.  They have three grandchildren. 

44 years of Service to the Ithaca Community.

Throughout the 1970’s and 80’s, while helping raise their family with husband Al, who had taken a teaching job in Ithaca in 1972, Alice became a dedicated volunteer with community youth, first by answering an AD for a Girl Scout leader in the paper (even though she didn’t have a daughter yet). Alice was an avid scouting volunteer for 14 years as a Girl Scout leader, Brownie leader, Boy Scout Den mother, writing a “girl scout news” weekly update for the Gratiot County Herald and chairing the neighborhood cookie drive. 

Alice volunteered as a nature study instructor for the Community Education Summer Day Camp for several years and she was a non-stop volunteer at the school, helping with the nutrition program and as a reading helper.

Alice was very active in the Jaycee’s Auxiliary, helping conduct window painting contests in downtown Ithaca, dying Easter eggs for the annual hunt, and collecting toys for needy children; and in the United Methodist Church, where she taught Sunday school, was the Sunday School Superintendent, co-chair of the building committee, Leader of the Esther Circle, Served on the Ad Board, the Education Committee and the Council on ministries.   Alice also served as the President of the Friends of the Library working on programs and fundraising projects.

Alice served on the City’s Parks and Recreation Board responsible for constructing the racetrack at the Ithaca fairgrounds. 

In 1979, Alice became the first woman on the Ithaca City Council and has served 36 years almost continuously since, with only a two year lapse.  One of her first endeavors on the council and one she is very proud of, is having the pledge of allegiance and a prayer said at each meeting’s beginning, feeling that it set’s the right tone.  In her council capacity, over the years Alice has served on many community projects including liaison to the Thompson Home Library Board, where she has given countless input and advice through two separate and demanding but successful construction projects.  

Alice became an activist for the disabled community helping with the establishment of a group home in Ithaca, after opposition threatened to derail the project.    

In 1986 Alice went back to school to get her degree in Elementary education, graduating in 1988 and at 46 years of age, going to work as the founding teacher at the alternative education program in Ithaca, where she taught until 1992, then transitioning to 5th – 7th grades for the remainder of her teaching career, retiring in 2012.  Alice was a co-chairperson for the Ithaca Public Schools Relay for life team for six years. 

In her retirement, Alice continues to serve on the City Council and as Library Board Liaison to the Council.  She is the current Chairperson on the Gratiot Commission on Aging Board of Directors and is a volunteer driver for Seniors through the commission.  She also has visited with Nursing Home Seniors.

As her nominator said, “Alice is the kindest and most caring person, always finding a softer and more compassionate view of a situation and always willing to help others”

We are very fortunate to have Alice Schafer as a member of our community and we are proud to present her with this year’s Person of the Year award for Ithaca.    



Additional Chamber of Commerce Information


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