The mid 1990's

Our History

The Grand Rapids Scottish Society was founded in 1991 by a group of people that have a love of Scotland and all things Scottish, its history, customs and traditions. This group gathers on a monthly basis to enjoy this focus on one of the world’s greatest countries. A country that is seeped in tradition and has given so much to the rest of the world. Its gifts are so varied that one cannot begin to name them all. This is what brings this group of people together.

We, as a Society, celebrate the traditions of Scotland throughout the year. St. Andrew’s Day, Burns’ Supper and Hogmany (Scottish New Year) are but a few of those special events that the Society enjoys on an annual basis. Our Burns’ Supper is without a doubt the single event that we celebrate with the most enthusiasm. Scotland’s most famous poet and songwriter has circled the globe with his verse and song and we enjoy celebrating his contributions with a traditional supper which includes music, poetry, song and dance.

The Society enjoys the fact that we are also a family oriented group. Our Hogmany celebrations are put together so that all members of the family can enjoy this festive tradition. During the summer months the Society participates in festivals, all which have either a Scottish or Celtic theme. The Society has a tent, which displays our banner and has reference books, which help people trace their roots. Naturally, we encourage membership to our Society through these festivals. The summer also includes a family picnic with games and of course, food and prizes for all.

We have kept busy promoting Scottish culture and working with charities and other local Celtic groups  throughout the West Michigan area for over 30+ years!

The original logo was designed by GRSS member Mike Gunn. The Gunn family were founding members.

GRSS members sitting at our table at the Alma Highland Games  (early 2000's)

Sword Detail and Highland Dancers at the Burns Supper in 2017

Music at the Burns Supper in 2022

Charity is important to our organization

Over the years the GRSS has volunteered at or donated funds to various charities including scholarships to Alma College students, Angel Tree Christmas Gifts, Kids Food Basket, the Grand Rapids Veterans Home, and other local organizations too numerous to name! We also try and donate to a charity each year located in Scotland. For example, past recipients include the Glasgow Children's Hospital and the Erskine Veterans Home.

For decades the GRSS has donated Christmas toys to the Salvation Army's "Angel Tree"

GRSS members volunteering at Kids Food Basket in October 2023