Dick Devos has a long history of charity and community improvement projects. Most recently, the family foundation he and his wife started was one of the organizations or individuals to contribute $1 million to the Kennedy Center. The Kennedy Center has accepted donations in plans for expansion, adding new pavilions, a bridge which will link the center to the riverfront, and new spaces for education, offices, dining and rehearsal. Devos’ million dollar donation, along with many other contributors of equal or even higher amounts, will set the stage for the Kennedy Center to excel in its role as an arts center.
Exceeding its original goal of $125 million, the campaign for the expansion has now raised $135.9 million and counting. Built in 1971 and welcoming approximately 3 million visitors per year, the center is a widely cherished spot for education; likely, the reason why the entire project will be able to be funded by contributions. Humanitarians out there are seeing the ways that they can help people in the community, by providing ways for our children to develop hobbies and interests that will help them to lead fuller lives.
Contributions to campaigns such as this, ones that are truly for all of the people, are what make wealthier humanitarians so important in my opinion and in the opinion of many. Devos has contributed to and founded other similar projects, particularly in the Grand Rapids area. Here he has led improvements in the downtown area and in the community’s healthcare. Such examples include a $75 million arena, a $212 million dollar convention center, and a $30 million market for the city’s downtown; alongside a heart hospital and a medical school for the area totaling $220 million together. I personally have a passion for downtown revitalization projects in any city, as I believe they are crucial for reducing crime by improving quality of life.
Since the beginning of the Dick and Betsy Devos Family Foundation, Devos and his wife have supported a magnitude of organizations that I find to have very positive impacts. This includes their own Devos Institute of Art Management, to help sustain the institutions that nourish young artists, Project Clarity and the Inner City Christian Federation, which fund for clean water and better housing, respectively, and last, the West Michigan Aviation Academy, for young pilots.
Follow Dick DeVos on Facebook.