Family, friends gathered to honor Betty Ford

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GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation held an event to honor former First Lady Betty Ford at Meijer Gardens.

Longtime family, friend and political reporter Cokie Roberts was the keynote speaker for “Americas First Ladies: An Enduring Legacy.”

Roberts talked about the connection between her family and the Fords.

“My father and Jerry Ford were in the House of Representatives and they each achieved the leadership of his own party and the families were very close,” said Roberts.

Roberts says it was a different time when her father, Democrat Hale Boggs, and Republican Ford served in opposite parties but without today’s animosity.

“That was a more friendly time,” Roberts said.

Wednesday, Roberts remembered the contributions of First Lady Betty Ford, an important mission for former first daughter Susan Ford Bales.

“This one is always important to me because there is something about a mother daughter relationship that is so special.

“Look at what she did. She changed healthcare for millions of women. Not only with mammography and breast cancer and all of that, but also with addiction and drug abuse. So she really changed the whole horizon of health care for women so she needs to be honored, she needs to be remembered, we need to continue those conversations.”

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