Recently we learned from the Washington Business Journal on-line that the fundraising goal for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts met its goal and more! The fundraising campaign was started to make enhancements to the 44 year old center which will see a new pavilion, a bridge for pedestrians and a few new pavilions to house more space for rehearsals, educational needs and a dining area. The approved project has welcomed donations totaling about $135.9 million. A nice flow of donations has been received from individuals and companies such as the Boeing Co.
One of the benevolent donors to the Kennedy Center expansion is Dick DeVos, an individual who does what he can to improve the lives of others. In 1993 DeVos and his wife took on the role of co-chairs for the Educational Freedom Fund. Based in Michigan, it ensures that a family with a low-income level can send their child to a particular school that they prefer. While they matched a grant given by the Children’s Scholarship Fund, the couple wanted to be sure that their philanthropy would benefit families who face this struggle were allowed the freedom to choose a school to best-suited for their child. Dick and Besty also founded their own charity organization which gives to multiple causes.
Educated with a degree from Northwood University that focuses on business administration, DeVos began his career by working for the Amway Corporation. Gaining plenty of experience by taking on various roles, he eventually became its vice president, responsible for its procedures spanning 18 countries. This motivated him to develop his own business called the Windquest Group which produced and marketed various sized organizers for closets and storage needs. Dick is also an accomplished airplane and helicopter pilot. This fed the desire to found Michigan’s first aviation-focused high school so he could share his love of aeronautics with others less fortunate than himself. Check out his helicopter landing demonstration in the downtown area of his hometown Grand Rapids.
Versatile in every way, DeVos also was inspired to run for a Michigan statewide office by becoming a candidate for the office of governor, which unfortunately he did not win. In addition to his political activism however he has also penned a book titled Believe! Seeing its publication in 1985, it is a truly inspiring book with simple and basic suggestions based on traditional values. Dick DeVos sets an example for all of us and inspires others to become givers as well. For further insight into DeVos, check out his Facebook page or follow him on Twitter.