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Porter Hills Foundation Hosts Inaugural Thanks For Giving Event on November 20
Proceeds Create the Porter Hills Employee Support Services Fund
Porter Hills Foundation hosted its inaugural Thanks For Giving celebration at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids on November 20, 2019. Approximately 220 guests attended, including donors, residents and families, corporate sponsors, board members, and staff. With a focus on the importance of Porter Hills’ caregivers, proceeds from this event will create the Porter Hills Employee Support Services fund.
“This was a celebration of generosity,” explained Porter Hills Vice President of Philanthropy, Joanna Hogan. “When people give to the Foundation, it often comes from a feeling of gratitude for the care that they, or their loved one, have received. So, in addition to celebrating donors, we highlighted our dedicated caregiving team members who make Porter Hills such a special place to live and work. Sponsorships and ticket sales for the Thanks For Giving event will allow us to establish the Porter Hills Employee Support Services Fund. This fund will provide scholarship opportunities and emergency aid for our devoted team members, especially those who work most closely with the older adults we serve.”
Master of Ceremonies Tim Cusack welcomed the event’s guests, followed by videos highlighting the event’s top sponsors,
Dickinson Wright and Verhey Carpets, Inc., each with a long-standing relationship with Porter Hills; dinner prepared by Frederik Meijer Gardens Executive Chef, Andrew Krause; and presentations by Steve Fetyko, President and CEO of United Methodist Retirement Communities (UMRC) and Porter Hills; Jay Wisentaner, Porter Hills Board Chair; and Wendy Brightman, President of UMRC Foundation and Porter Hills Foundation.
Steve Fetyko noted the affiliation of UMRC and Porter Hills which took place on March 1, 2019. “Stronger together, our faith-based organizations have come a long way over the last nine months,” said Fetyko. “Together, we are privileged to serve over 6,700 older adults annually with 1,300 devoted team members across 24 different service lines and locations that span from shore to shore across lower Michigan. It is a privilege we take very seriously as the population of older adults continues to grow.”
Wendy Brightman added that Michigan is the fastest aging state in the U.S., and that 34,000 additional caregivers will be needed in Michigan alone in 2020, up from 162,000 currently. “Given the number of caregivers needed, as well as the high turnover in this field, we know how important it is to nurture our team members and provide them with the tools and support they need to be successful in their careers. That’s why we are so excited to establish the Employee Support Services Fund at Porter Hills. It will be mirrored after a similar program launched in 2014 by the UMRC Foundation, which has already shown success in staff retention. Seventy-seven percent of UMRC’s staff scholarship recipients continue to provide outstanding care for UMRC residents and participants.”
For many attending the event, the importance of excellent caregivers is personal. Testimonials from family members included
Doug Young, Charlie Royce, and David S. Hooker, President and CEO of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.
To learn more about Porter Hills, the Porter Hills Foundation, and the Employee Support Services Fund, contact Joanna Hogan at 616.577.2297 or visit porterhills.org/foundation.
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The mission of Porter Hills is to be trusted experts serving seniors with grace. Its vision is to be nationally recognized as an unparalleled leader and partner in senior services. In March 2019, Porter Hills affiliated, under shared governance and leadership, with United Methodist Retirement Communities, based in Chelsea, Michigan. Together, these organizations represent the second largest nonprofit senior living organization in Michigan. With a tradition of exceptional quality and a commitment to cutting-edge care, these faith-based organizations and their affiliates combine to serve more than 6,700 older adults each year, from 24 locations and service lines, across 22 counties in Michigan’s lower peninsula. porterhills.org|616.949.4975
Porter Hills Foundation is the charitable arm for Porter Hills, with headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 1995, the Porter Hills Foundation was officially established as a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Its mission is to raise, invest, and monitor the funds that support Porter Hills in providing a continuum of high-quality communities and services. With a focus on the health and well-being of older adults, and education and retention of our outstanding staff team members, the Porter Hills Foundation’s four priority initiatives include: benevolent care, employee support services, capital improvements, and life enrichment for older adults. porterhills.org/foundation|616.577.2297