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Prominent Michigan Family Donates One Million to Kennedy Center Expansion


The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has surpassed its fundraising goal of $125 million dollars for an expansion project. As a matter of fact, since the fundraiser has gone so well, they have now moved the goal to include another $50 million dollars. The rather large expansion of the center will offer new office, dining and rehearsal spaces, three new pavilions with one one on the riverfront. While an initial $50 million dollar donation by Carlyle Group Co-Founder David Rubenstein has still gone unmatched, many others, including Michigan businessman, Dick DeVos (son of Amway Co-Founder Richard DeVos) have also given generously. For such a large project to be totally funded by private donations really is a testimony to the importance of the Arts and how much it means to sustain such a historic venue. The expanded facility is to be completed by 2018.

Not surprisingly, the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation has pledged a one million dollar contribution to the Kennedy Center expansion project. Their foundation has been involved in charitable giving to civic, religious, educational and community organizations from its Grands Rapids headquarters for many years. The Foundation is responsible for opening the very first public charter aviation high school in 2010 on the grounds of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport, giving students direct access to airmen as they go about their professional duties. And because it is a charter school, there is no tuition, giving every child equal access. Dick himself is an experienced pilot as you can see by his helicopter landing in downtown Grand Rapids in the video below.

Dick DeVos is also widely known not only for his successful business, but for his 2006 Michigan gubernatorial bid. His plan to turnaround the state of Michigan was to be based on overhauling the state government, diversifying the economy, creating an attractive job climate and conquering the international marketplace. Always reflecting a business friendly quality and an unmatched love for the state of Michigan, he graciously accepted the fourteen point loss, yet never stopped fighting for the issues he believes will bring Michigan jobs back to the middle class worker.

The generous donation to expand the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center by the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation should come as no surprise to anyone who knows how much effort they have expended in contributing to the good things that make our country strong. We all will certainly look forward to the grand opening of the newly enlarged center in 2018.

Check out Dick’s personal Facebook page or his LinkedIn account to connect with him and get the latest news about his life and charity work like in the post below.

I am incredibly grateful to my parents for initiating and encouraging by example the tradition of philanthropy within our family. We are happy to be a part of this great community!

Posted by Dick DeVos on Monday, January 4, 2016

  1. Liberty Atticus

    So donating so much money is well for a prominent family who have the work also in Baltimore and keep traditions too. Rightly dissertation services are very much in the work that many charity do deserve the best in the generation that are more encouraging. Way off the mark so that JFK art would be effective also in educating the culture we are proud of too.

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