Area philanthropists say why Grand Rapids is unique

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Philanthropy leaders from across the country are sharing their insights and expertise at the Johnson Center National Summit on Family Philanthropy May 19 and 20 at the J.W. Marriot in Grand Rapids.

The theme of the conference, sponsored by the Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University, is "Charity Begins at Home: Families Rebuilding Communities.”

Panelists discussing The Grand Rapids Renaissance featured Rich DeVos, co-founder of Amway Corporation; David Frey, chairman of the Frey Foundation; and Kate Pew Wolters, president of the Kate and Richard Wolters Foundation and chair of the Grand Valley Board of Trustees. The discussion was moderated by Dorothy A. Johnson, trustee of the Johnson Family Fund and former chair of the Grand Valley Board of Trustees.

* Rich DeVos said Grand Rapids is a city filled with givers (audio).

* DeVos said the key to change is finding people who love a city, saying is family decided to make Grand Rapids home and make it better (audio).

* DeVos encouraged audience members to put together a coalition of people who are passionate about a city (audio).

* Kate Pew Wolters said she chose to stay and give in Grand Rapids because it's like being a big fish in a little pond (audio).

* Wolters stressed the importance of networking when looking for people to give (audio).

* David Frey said the panelists all share a love and passion for Grand Rapids (audio).

* Frey said Grand Rapids is just the right size (audio).