LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — If you’ve spent any time in Lansing, then you might recognize Alfreda Schmidt as the lady with the hat.
Schmidt is a Capital City icon and a woman known for her impeccable style and servant’s heart.
In fact, some have referred to her as Lansing royalty.
At the distinguished age of 96, she marches on as a community advocate, serving others and making a difference in the place she calls home.
“I feel well, I feel healthy, I feel thankful to the Lord, and I feel thankful for my friends,” said Schmidt.
Growing up on the family farm in Dansville, Alfreda learned the value of hard work and later as a young woman, the reward of serving others.
Schmidt worked tirelessly for more than a decade on the Lansing City Council and represented the south side.
It was her mantra to never do anything alone and to do the right thing, you must do what’s helpful to others.
Her goal has always been to improve the world around her. Over the year, she accomplished that at both the city and county levels, by bringing people together to make change happen.
One of her biggest accomplishments was the Hawk Island community-built playground. Alfreda was the driving force behind raising hundreds of thousands of dollars, and organizing 2,000 volunteers over seven days to make the park a reality.
But Alfreda’s dedication to service does not stop with the Hawk Island playground. Even now, she’s leading the effort to secure a significant sign that reads “Little Arlington” at the entrance of the veterans’ memorial plot in Lansing’s Evergreen Cemetery.
Michele Fickes nominated Alfreda to be recognized as a Remarkable Woman and listed many reasons why including the way she connects with veterans.
“She inspires them and she thanks them just endlessly,” said Fickes. “So she is definitely what, as a veteran would say, a rockstar in the veteran community.”
Alfreda has always done everything with a sense of style.
“I would say her hats are her trademark and she has such a stunning fashion sense and with such grace and dignity, at the age of 96,” said Fickes. “She’s still contributing, she’s giving wisdom on events and projects. That is so inspiring for the younger leaders to step up and do the same.”