United Methodist Retirement Communities Foundation Meets Fundraising Target

United Methodist Retirement Communities Foundation Meets $26 Million Fundraising Target—Months Ahead of Schedule

Thousands of Donors, Friends Offer Support to Chelsea-Based Senior Living Organization

From Karen Owen

The United Methodist Retirement Communities (UMRC) Foundation announced that it is ahead of schedule in meeting its fundraising goal of $26 million in support of its Growing to Serve comprehensive campaign. This monumental campaign, which launched in October 2015 and kicked off publicly in November 2017, supports UMRC’s three priority initiatives:

Capital projects, including expansion and renovation of Kresge Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, creating private rooms and bathrooms for all residents, regardless of income level; construction of 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.

“We are overjoyed that we have hit the $26 million mark earlier than expected,” said UMRC Foundation president Wendy Brightman. “The UMRC Foundation has received contributions from 1,783 friends, residents, board members, employees, corporations and foundations to date. Gifts made to this campaign are already transforming the lives of our residents, employees, and the communities we serve.”

Brightman said UMRC’s funding needs are growing to keep pace with the growing population of older adults. The number of Americans aged 85 and older is expected to triple by 2030.

“I’m thrilled that so many have recognized, through support of the Growing to Serve campaign, the value of the work that UMRC does in advancing the field of senior care,” added Lisa Herrick, UMRC Foundation board member and campaign co-chair.

Fundraising for the Growing to Serve campaign will continue through Nov. 8, 2018, when the UMRC Foundation will celebrate the completion of this milestone with a VIP event to be held in Chelsea, Michigan.

Honorary campaign chairs and former UMRC Foundation board members Dick and Norma Sarns of Ann Arbor said their decision to serve is connected to their belief in UMRC’s faith- based mission “to promote the wellness, dignity and independence of older adults by providing high quality and innovative residential and supportive services.”

“We have found UMRC and UMRC Foundation to have integrity, and we have a lot of respect and confidence in the leadership team, boards, and staff. We look forward to seeing a lot of exciting changes and continued expansion at UMRC.”

Fellow campaign co-chair Tom McMullen agrees, saying he and his wife, Debby, feel that UMRC’s Chelsea campus is already a gem. “When all the new construction and remodeling is completed, this current gem might well turn into a sapphire or a diamond. The two of us can’t wait until all of this work is finished.”

“I am so proud of the accomplishments our Foundation staff, board, volunteers, and supporters have helped us achieve through the Growing to Serve campaign,” Brightman said. “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.”

Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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