Downtown museum producing Legacy Awards Gala


Mike VanGessel. Grand Rapids Public Museum

A museum downtown is honoring a group of community leaders at a gala this week.

Eileen DeVries, Mike VanGessel and Scotty Kehoe will be honored at the 10th-annual Jay & Betty Van Andel Legacy Awards Gala by the Grand Rapids Public Museum this Thursday, from 5:30-9 p.m.

The event is co-chaired by Dave Van Andel and Carol Van Andel and Jim Williams and Sue Williams.

The annual event recognizes individuals who have positively impacted the community through their efforts to better quality of life in the region.

The recipients are chosen based on their community leadership and character.

The Jay & Betty Van Andel Lifetime Achievement Award will be given in memory of the late Eileen DeVries, because of her lasting impact on Grand Rapids. The award is generally given to individuals who have dedicated their lives for the betterment of the community. DeVries was a financial advisor and a local women’s rights activist. She served various West Michigan organizations, such as the Grand Rapids Public Museum, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and Pine Rest.

Mike VanGessel, the CEO of Rockford Construction, will be the recipient of the 2018 Dave & Carol Van Andel Leadership Award. The award is given to an individual who supports philanthropic organizations and contributes to the cultural, educational and economic health of the community. VanGessel will be recognized with the award, because of his work with civic leaders, nonprofits and his vision for the future of West Michigan.

Scotty Kehoe, regional relations manager for DTE Energy, will be presented with "The Casey" Award for 2018, which is named after Casey Wondergem, a public museum volunteer. The award highlights public service and encourages charitable activity. Kehoe is associated with the Grand Rapids Public Museum Mini Maker Faire Committee, Alpha Grand Rapids and Kids’ Food Basket’s Feeding Our Future Campaign. Kehoe is also a liaison to elected officials, coaches youth sports and was a recipient of the Grand Rapids Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 award.

Tickets to the gala can be purchased by calling 616-929-1754.

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