The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is planning an expansion for which it needs donor dollars. They were not only able to surpass their financial goal but have now set their sites on garnering an additional $50 million in donations. So far they have raised $135.9 million for the new project which will include a variety of improvements. This includes a new riverfront pavilion as well as a pedestrian walk which will link it to the main Kennedy Center building. The project also entails expanding the Kennedy Center which will include more rehearsal and dining space along with more space for educational opportunities.


One of the people that has donated money to this project is Dick DeVos, a successful businessman from Michigan. According to his wikipedia page, Dick DeVos is the son of one of the founders of Amway. He also started his own company, The Windquest Group, and has authored a number of articles and publications. He has also run for office, attempting to become the Governor of Michigan in 2006. The last estimate of his wealth is from 2012 which pegged his net worth at that time at $5.1 billion.


Even as a child, Dick DeVos was engaged in business activities. Along with his brother, Doug, they were tasked to serve as mini-hosts when Amway would hold an annual convention in Grand Rapids. They had to greet guests as well as help clean plates and tables. They eventually started to speak in front of groups at these conventions which is where he developed his talent for public speaking.


In addition to his business activities, Dick DeVos is known as a dedicated philanthropist. He, along with his wife Betsy, created the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation. While they donate money to a variety of causes, such as the John F. Kennedy Center, their focus is often on educational issues and the arts. Over the years they have donated over $100 million to fund the issues that are important to them.


Dick DeVos also volunteers his time and experience to a variety of groups. Among these is Grand Action for which he is a chairman. This organization is dedicated to revitalizing the downtown core of Grand Rapids and increasing business opportunities. He is also a board member of the West Michigan Aviation Academy which teaches young people the skills and education they need to get a job in the airline’s industry.


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