The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts had a fundraising campaign it started in 2013 with the goal of raising $125 million dollars for its planned expansion project and programming initiatives. The money was to be used to build a riverfront pavilion, the building of a pedestrian bridge that links the pavilion to the Kennedy center, as well as adding offices, educational, rehearsal and dining spaces and three new pavilions to the center itself. So far the fundraising campaign has garnered $135.9 million, but the Kennedy Center has raised its goal by an additional $50 million. They’ve received multimillion dollar donations from David Rubenstein, the Boeing Co. and several others.
Billionaire Dick Devos, the former president of Amway, has also made a huge donation to the Kennedy Center. In 2010 he gave the organization $22.5 million. At the time it was the largest private donation ever given to the Kennedy Center in its history. A generous philanthropist, Dick DeVos has given millions to many other causes and organizations. Listed as among the world’s wealthiest and top givers by Forbes Magazine, it’s estimated that the Dick and Betsy DeVos Family Foundation has given over $140 million to charity, much of it to educational causes.
Entrepreneur, businessman and author Richard Marvin “Dick” DeVos Jr. is the son of Richard DeVos the co-founder of consumer goods distribution company Amway. A native of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Dick DeVos has been involved in business almost his entire life. A graduate of Northwood University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, he held several executive position with Amway and eventually became CEO of the company in 1993. He held the position until 2002. Under his leadership, Amway’s market expanded to over 50 countries and overseas sales grew from 5% of company revenues to 50%.
Dick DeVos business experience also included serving as the Orlando Magic basketball franchise’s president and CEO. After leaving that position, DeVos become the Windquest Group’s president. The investment management firm has holdings in manufacturing, technology and other sectors. Dick DeVos is also the Dick and Betsy DeVos Foundation president. Through the foundation he has donated millions to artistic, civic, educational, community, religious and free-market economic organizations.
Dick DeVos also created the Education Freedom Fund which has provided over 4,000 underprivileged children in Michigan with scholarships. He is the author of the New York Times best-selling book entitled, “Rediscovering American Values”.
To learn more about Dick DeVos, visit http://dickdevos.com/.