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Next Saturday will be National Stepfamily Day in Illinois and more than 30 other states, thanks largely to the efforts of Christy Borgeld.

In July of 1997, Borgeld saw that President Clinton had proclaimed the third Sunday in July National Stepparents Day.

"I thought, why just stepparents? Why not the whole family?" says Borgeld, a Wyoming, Mich., mother of seven, including four stepchildren.

She began contacting local, state and national elected officials -- more than 800 in all -- seeking their support. The first year 24 governors backed National Stepfamily Day with proclamations; this year the number is at 30 and counting.

The day is more than proclamations, though. The main event is the stepfamily picnic.

"They're as simple as backyard picnics to picnics in neighborhood parks," Borgeld says. "I've had churches and companies put on steppicnics. There are, like, 800 cities having picnics this year."

So gather the stepkids and crank up the grill next weekend. For more information on National Stepfamily Day, contact the Stepfamily Association of America (; 800-735-0329). For grilling tips, you're on your own.

Celebrate National Stepfamily Day: A Dedication To American Stepfamilies
by Christy Borgeld, Coordinator of Stepfamily Activities, SAA

The family 2000 has arrived! With the new millennium comes a dramatic shift in family structure. Almost half of all marriages in the U.S.A. are remarriages. I discovered that, in spite of the wonderful organizations serving stepfamilies, there was not a day set aside to recognize the stepfamily. I yearned to have a day set aside to observe the love and dedication of the stepfamily whose members make a tremendous effort to strengthen the values of their families.

Success! September 16th is Stepfamily Day! Working with all 50 Governors, State Senators and State Representatives, 36 States proclaimed September 16th as Stepfamily Day in 1999. Governors in additional states have committed to joining the celebration this year.

The Second National Stepfamily Day Picnic will be held this year on Saturday, September 16th in recognition of Stepfamily Day. Back yards and neighborhood parks will be filled with stepfamilies celebrating their special relationships. Many communities are supporting the festivities with food and games. This Day will celebrate our lifestyle and the family members who worked so hard to bring us to our stronger sense of commitment and caring. It will hail the triumph of the stepfamily experience and the boundless love which is contained in the bond between a large diversity of parents and children.

This is my dedication to American Stepfamilies! Happy Stepfamily Day!