In 1991, the Grand Rapids authorities announced that they intended to build a sports complex in the city. This plan was not widely accepted especially by the enlightened residents of the city. One of these people who felt dissatisfied with the arrangements was Mr. Dick Devos, the son of the owner of Amway Corporation. While some people chose to take an apathetic stand following the announcement, Dick Devos never hid his objections towards the plan. Mr. Devos was afraid that Grand Rapids would suffer the same predicament as Detroit when the city’s best teams left after building state of the art sports facilities. These facilities became obsolete once the two teams went and Mr. Devos did not want to see that happening to his beloved Grand Rapids.
After the announcement was made, Mr. Devos embarked on seeking people who shared the same worries as him concerning the proposals. He called all the prominent people in the town and elaborately explained to them the effects that such a move would bring to Grand Rapids City. Mr. Devos’ argument convinced most of these people and they agreed to join hands with him. These prominent individuals discussed the issue at length, and in the end, they decided to begin similar recreational facilities, but in the city’s suburbs. Some of the facilities that were created as a result of these negotiations are Van Andel Arena, Devos Place Convention Centre, Devos Performance Hall, Grand Rapids City Market, and the Medical School at Michigan University.
Dick Devos is married to Betsy Devos. The couple has been at the forefront if bringing reforms to Grand Rapids. Betsy Devos is credited with the formation of the numerous charter schools that exist in Michigan. Together with Dick Devos, they have campaigned for the private schools that are funded by the government for many years. This urge to see children from all walks of life join the schools of their choice was developed after Dick and Betsy visited a school and saw how parents struggled to educate their kids.
Dick Devos is a staunch Republican, and he unsuccessfully vied for the Michigan gubernatorial seat in 2006. This did not stop Dick from continuing to push for reforms and in 2012, he influenced the passing of a labor law that allows anyone to work in Michigan without applying for union membership. This is just one of the numerous changes that Mr. Dick Devos has brought in Michigan since he ventured into politics.
Dick and Betsy are generous. They both come from wealthy backgrounds, and thus they have inherited numerous property from their parents. They use their wealth to help the less fortunate in Michigan as well as in other parts of the country. They have a group called Dick and Betsy Devos Family Foundation. This foundation is mainly used to give development funds to significant projects in Michigan. It has been active for about 26 years. During this period, the foundation has given out approximately $138.7 million to development projects in Michigan. They have supported the building of schools, churches and health facilities. Dick and Betsy have also provided many scholarships to students in private schools.
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