‘Paving the Way’ for Philanthropy and Aging
The United Methodist Retirement Communities (UMRC) Foundation hosted an event Nov. 8 to celebrate the record-breaking success of the nonprofit organization’s Growing to Serve comprehensive campaign. The campaign celebration event took place at the Chelsea Comfort Inn and Conference Center with nearly 120 donors and guests in attendance.
To date, the UMRC Foundation has raised $26.5 million, exceeding its original $26 million goal, in support of UMRC’s three priority initiatives: Capital projects, including expansion and renovation of the Kresge Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, creating private rooms and bathrooms for all residents, regardless of income level; construction of the McMullen Wellness Center, featuring an indoor pool, walking track, and other fitness initiatives for residents; resident services and life enrichment activities for residents at Chelsea Retirement Community and Rivertown Assisted Living in Detroit; and the Benevolent Care Fund, the cornerstone of the UMRC Foundation, which ensures that older adults have a safe, loving home at UMRC even if they outlive their savings.
“Taking on this campaign in 2015 was a challenge, but one we accepted gladly because we knew how much it would mean to the older adults we serve,” said UMRC Foundation president Wendy Brightman. “At our public kickoff event a year ago, we talked about the dismal statistics surrounding philanthropy and aging. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that, together, we are a part of moving that needle and growing to serve older adults in new and innovative ways.”
In addition to Brightman, speakers for the evening included UMRC resident Marilyn Campbell, UMRC resident care assistant Emily Weber, and family member Carolyn Kauffman. Each speaker noted how the campaign’s success has been touching lives.
“As one of the largest multiyear campaigns of any sort in southeastern Michigan, the UMRC Foundation hopes to help pave the way for philanthropy in aging services,” Brightman said. “For older adults, families, staff and the communities we serve, the tremendous impact this campaign has had—and will continue to have—is far beyond what we had ever imagined and far exceeds any dollar amount. I am grateful to our many supporters who have made this possible.”
Brightman continued, “I am so proud of the accomplishments our Foundation staff, board, volunteers, and supporters have helped us achieve through the Growing to Serve campaign. However, our work does not stop here. There are still great opportunities ahead to serve this growing population of older adults. UMRC and the UMRC Foundation will continue to be at the forefront of innovative and compassionate care for older adults and their families.”