Pilgrim Manor Recognizes Giving, Raises Nearly $55,000 for Compassionate Care

GRAND RAPIDS [Oct. 9, 2019] – Nearly 200 people attended the Pilgrim Manor Foundation’s 16th annual Celebrate the Spirit Gala as United Church Homes and Pilgrim Manor thanked supporters and showcased opportunities for giving.

The gala raised nearly $55,000 for the Compassionate Care Fund, which supports residents of Pilgrim Manor who have outlived or depleted their financial resources. Nearly 25 percent of Pilgrim Manor’s 114 residents receive support through the Compassionate Care Fund.

This year’s event had a new venue, Fredrick Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, and a 1920s theme. Music was provided by the Max Lockwood Band as fellowship took place before the plated dinner. A dessert bar, raffle, silent auction and pop-up jewelry shop were offered at the event.

The event included three awards that UCH and Pilgrim Manor presented to a local church and two longtime supporters – the Diakonie Award, the Spirit Award and the Ben M. Herbster Award.

The historic Park Church United Church of Christ was the recipient of the Diakonie Award, which is presented to congregations to honor those who have demonstrated faithfulness in their support of the UCH mission.

Park Church, established in 1836, is one of the oldest congregations in Grand Rapids. Over the years, Park has been a positive influence on the community in enumerable ways. Park’s clergy and congregation were instrumental in the roots of worthwhile organizations, including Pilgrim Manor, the precursor to Blodgett Hospital and the YMCA.

Stephen Vickery was the recipient of the Spirit Award, presented to individuals who best exemplify the volunteerism, advocacy, inspiration and spirit for UCH residents and their families. Vickery, who is pursuing a degree in English from Grand Valley State University, has been a dedicated volunteer at Pilgrim Manor since January 2018. On a typical day, he visits with residents, encourages them to share stories and enjoys a friendly game of pool.

Vickery said he feels blessed to be in the lives of Pilgrim Manor residents, and he hopes they say the same about him.

Loyd E. Winer received the Ben M. Herbster Award, which is presented to individuals who best exemplify the philosophy, leadership, philanthropic spirit and achievements of the late Rev. Dr. Ben Herbster, the first president of the UCC after it formed in 1961. Winer is a past Pilgrim Manor Board member and the founder of the Pilgrim Manor Foundation. He is a longtime supporter of Pilgrim Manor and the services it provides to older adults in Grand Rapids.

Major sponsors for the event included Betz Industries, Hansen Balk Steel Treating, Therapy Management, Phil and Laura Balkema, Comfort Research, First Park UCC, Gordon Food Service, Lake Michigan Credit Union, Winer, Meijer, Plante Moran LLP, Carelinc Home Medical Equipment, Jim and Betts Casey, East Congregational UCC, Charles Gilbert, Hospice of Michigan, Life EMS, LEAD Marketing, Mercantile Bank, Miller Johnson, Plymouth UCC, QCI Healthcare, Advance Capital Management, Applied Imaging, Emmanuel Hospice, Faith Hospice, Kindred Hospice, Posh Petals, Kevin and Jennifer Raymond and River City Flooring.

Foundation Board members include Rev. Kenneth Daniel, UCH president and CEO; John Renner, UCH senior vice president of finance and business strategy; Gloria Hurwitz, UCH vice president of advancement and communications; Phil Mallott, UCH Board chair; attorney Phil Balkema; the Rev. Ruth Fitzgerald, Grand West Association minister; Rev. Bruce Roller, executive director of UCOM; and Alexandra Wilson, director of annual giving and special events at the Pilgrim Manor Foundation.

For more information about Pilgrim Manor, visit pilgrimmanor.org.

United Church Homes is one of the nation’s largest providers of senior living and healthcare services for older adults, with 75 senior living communities in 14 states and two Native American nations.