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Posted on Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 5:58 a.m.

Ann Arbor Family Lamaze Center opens in new location after Georgetown Mall's closure

By Angela Smith


Ann Arbor Family Lamaze Center’s board and staff celebrated their new office at a grand opening celebration last weekend. Pictured (l-r): Beth Simon, Bonnie Kerber, Julie Lubeck-Hofer, Meredith Lovelace, Elizabeth Satterley and Jodie Hughes.

The Ann Arbor Lamaze Family Center recently moved from the Georgetown Mall Shopping Center to Boardwalk Drive.

Photo by Angela Smith for

The Ann Arbor Lamaze Family Center celebrated a grand opening at its new location Saturday. The new facility at 2855 Boardwalk in Ann Arbor has been open since November, and marks “a fresh beginning for an old organization,” said Meredith Lovelace.

Lovelace, the center’s interim executive director and marketing and programming Manager, said that it was time for the organization to move forward from its old location at 2500 Packard, in the vacant Georgetown Mall Shopping Center, which is likely to be demolished soon.

The new center is located behind One On One Fitness in the same plaza as other family-centered businesses like Jump City and Arts in Motion. She has already noticed how the nonprofit is better serving the community in the past months.

“The new facility is not an office space; it truly is a center for the community,” she said.

The new center is brighter, offers more visibility, and provides two classrooms, which allows the non-profit to offer more classes running in tandem, especially during its busy weekend schedule, said Lovelace.

The Lamaze Family Center boasts service to the community since 1967 and has expanded its mission to include educational classes from pregnancy to preschool.

Parent Cheryl Dean of Dearborn attended the grand opening and has been taking classes with Ann Arbor Family Lamaze since finding the center during her pregnancy.

“It was the only place in the area to offer true Lamaze,” Dean said. She and her now 15-month-old daughter, Jeannette, have taken other new-parent courses like breastfeeding and infant CPR. She is considering the Signing Smart baby sign language class for the next session.

“I’m very impressed, particularly with the separate toddler play area; the new space is very cool,” she said.

The Lamaze Center currently employs 16 part-time staff educators, and the new facility may eventually create a need for more staff. Currently the center is hiring for a new executive director, a position that oversees the strategic planning, business growth and development of the Lamaze Family Center.

As with other local nonprofits, the Lamaze Family Center is finding a need to be more creative about revenue sources in the current economic climate. Lovelace is hoping that the new executive director will lead the organization in creating more long-term sponsorships and collaborations like the one with University of Michigan’s Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital.

The Center is also hoping to host more community events like the Silent Auction Fundraiser that is being planned for the early fall. The auction will commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Mary G. Schuman Miscarriage and Newborn Loss Support Group, and funds raised will benefit this and other free programs offered through the center.

More information about community events, class offerings, and the Lamaze Family Center of Ann Arbor can be found here.

Angela Smith is a freelance reporter for



Tue, Mar 13, 2012 : 3:20 p.m.

"She is considering the Signing Smart baby sign language class for the next session." Baby sign language is awesome. I thought it sounded like some yuppie BS when my wife mentioned taking our infant. I was way off. I feel that we've avoided a huge amount of frustration by teaching our infant an additional means of communication. Instead of wondering if he's crying because he wants more food, isn't hungry, or doesn't like something we're feeding him, he just tells us. Sure beats the trial and error we used before hand. He even tells us when his diaper needs changing -- way better than waiting for the smell to tip us off, or worse...poop everywhere! As an added plus, the sign for "monkey" is super cute when a 13 month old does it.