In March 2009 a small group of people planned a 'Tea Party' rally for April 15th on the court house steps of the Kalamazoo County court house. Over 1000 people attended the rally and over 700 joined the movement via sign up for email newsletters. We formed several committees to determine what our 'Tea Party' organization mission, purpose and by laws would be. During that summer and fall we were asked to assist in starting Tea Party organizations in Berrien, Cass, St. Joseph, Calhoun, Barry and Allegan counties. We then changed our focus to be the Southwest Michigan Tea Party and were organized as such to offer support to newly formed organizations.