The John F. Kennedy Center exceeded its 2013 fundraiser target of $125 million by raising a whopping $135.9 million for its planned expansion project. However, instead of ending its fundraiser campaign, it has decided to up its target by at least $50 million. The expansion will include a pedestrian bridge and a riverfront pavilion. The center will also have new rehearsal spaces, offices, a dining space, and three pavilions. Michigan-based billionaire couple Dick and Betsy DeVos donated $1 million for the center’s expansion through their family foundation. The Kennedy center was opened in 1971 and receives almost three million visitors every year.
Dick DeVos is a Michigan-based entrepreneur, author, and billionaire who was born in 1955. He is a qualified helicopter and jet pilot, a sailor, a father of seven, and a grandfather of six. His father, Richard DeVos, is a co-founder of Amway Corporation.
DeVos served as Amway’s CEO between 1993 and 2002. At Amway, he oversaw all aspects of its operations and expansion to six continents and 50 countries. In 2002, Amway reported unprecedented sales of $4.5 billion. Before serving as President, DeVos was the company’s VP tasked with overseeing Amway International’s operations in 18 countries. After the DeVos family acquired Orlando Magic, Dick DeVos served as its CEO for three years. He later headed the Windquest Group.
DeVos is a leading authority in numerous community initiatives not only in Michigan but also across the US. He helped launch the Education Freedom Fund that awards over 4,000 scholarships to deserving underprivileged kids in Michigan.
He also launched the West Michigan Aviation Academy, which provides a rigorous education with an aviation focus. The Aviation academy became the first public charter high school offering aviation courses in the United States of America. The idea to start the school originated from Betsy DeVos. She had been thinking about their shared interest in education values and her husband’s love of flying. Later, they decided to merge the two passions into a school. They made the school a public charter to allow children from all backgrounds to attend without paying any tuition.
Dick DeVos served on Michigan’s State Board of Education. He has also headed numerous revitalization projects in the downtown Grand Rapids as well as healthcare improvement initiatives that include a $130 million heart hospital, a $90 million medical school, a $30 million Downtown market, a $212 million convention center, and a $75 million downtown arena.
To learn more, visit http://dickdevos.com/.