The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which opened in 1971, was selected for expansion and other amenities for the sole reason to increase its overall space and artistic presence of the Arts. It invites and excites 3 million people a year. The expansion will include: 3 pavilions, a riverfront pavilion, a bridge to accommodate such a pavilion, educational and rehearsal rooms, offices and dining areas. Constructed started in 2013. It was estimated at a cost of $125 million for the expansion, but because of federal planning agencies additional funds were needed, raising the price to $149 million
David Rubenstein, chairman of the Kennedy Center’s board of trustees began the fundraising with $50 million, and through the generosity of Dick DeVos and other prominent members of the Arts, the final tally of donations came to $135.9 million. They hope to open the newly modified performing arts building in 2018.
Dick DeVos is devoted to more than the Arts. He also contributes to social causes in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 1989 he and his wife Betsie, started a foundation to aid in several social campaigns. Such projects include: updating its downtown area and local health centers, price, $75 million, a Education Freedom Fund, awarding over 4,000 scholarships to children living in poverty areas, and established the West Michigan Aviation Academy. The foundation has also contributed to many organizations totally over $400 million. He also has been involved as a board member of several charitable entities, including the State Board of Education.
Richard DeVos Jr., whose father is Richard DeVos Sr., co-founder of Amway Corporation, began working with his father in 1974 and by 1984 was appointed Vice-President of the corporation conducting business in 18 countries.
In 1989 he started his own company, Windquest, a manufacturing company of storage and closet organizers.
During 1991 – 1994 he advanced to President and CEO of the National Basket Association’s Orlando Magic Basketball franchise while operating and growing his own company, Windquest.
In 1993 he returned to Amway where he was appointed President of the company, and restructured it in 2000 into a corporation called, Alticor. With two other businesses added to the corporation the franchise extended its base from 18 countries to 50.
In 1997 he published, in seven languages a book titled, “Rediscovering American Values”, a New York Times best-seller.
In 2002 he returned to his own company Windquest where he currently sits as its President.
In 2006 he ran as a Republican for Michigan’s Governor, but lost to his Democratic opponent Jennifer Granholm.
Visit http://www.dbdvfoundation.org/ to learn more.