Hospital fundraises $2.5M for renovation


Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids provides inpatient and outpatient services for children and adults. Photo via

A hospital is looking to secure the last $2.5 million for a $16-million capital campaign — primarily for renovations.

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation said today that it is launching the public phase of its $16-million capital campaign, which will largely go toward the $24.4-million renovation phase of its $66.4-million expansion and renovation project.

Capital campaign

The capital campaign has already reached about 85 percent its goal or roughly $13.5 million from a variety of organizations and families.

Kent Riddle, president and CEO at Mary Free Bed, said with the recently built $42 million, 270,000-square-foot in-patient tower, the funds will mostly be used on the roughly two-year project underway to renovate the remaining three buildings on the Mary Free Bed campus.

“The community advocacy for Mary Free Bed is much greater than I ever anticipated,” Riddle said. “It is really inspiring really. It is almost unanimous in the community — just an outpouring of support. And I continue to walk around so grateful.”

The $16-million capital campaign is led by co-chairs Kate Pew Wolters and Arend D. “Don” Lubbers and comprises a number of honorary campaign chairs and roughly 24 members in the campaign cabinet.

Wolters is also providing a $250,000 matching grant challenge for community donations.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the commitment and expertise of the Mary Free Bed staff,” Wolters said. “I’ve received a variety of Mary Free Bed services throughout my entire life, and I’m honored to give back.”

Secured funding

Mary Free Bed has already received funds or pledges from a number of sources: the Keller Family; Kate and Richard Wolters Foundation; Wege Foundation; Meijer Foundation; Doornink Foundation; Frey Foundation; Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation; Ken and Judy Betz; Steele and Mary Taylor; Peter C. and Emajean Cook Foundation; CDV5 Foundation; Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation; Bea Alderink Idema Foundation; Mike and Sue Jandernoa; Gerber Foundation; John and Nancy Kennedy; Dave and Carol Van Andel Foundation; Mary Free Bed Guild; Steelcase; Edith Blodgett Legacy Fund of The Brookby Foundation; Grand Rapids Community Foundation; and John B. Bertsch.

Renovation project

Renovations for the three older facilities at the Mary Free Bed campus began yesterday.

The renovations should be completed by spring 2017.

The Christman Company, based in Lansing, is working on the renovations.

Renovations in the old hospital will include modern neurological rehabilitation outpatient services, a new pediatric inpatient unit on the third floor and a musculoskeletal and pain center.

“There are three buildings east of the new building connected by a skywalk and all will have renovations in them,” Riddle said. “The old 1976 hospital is being almost completely renovated on all three floors, and it will be like a new building.

“We are a community organization in Grand Rapids, but we serve people from all over different states. It is a very unique facility to have in a community the size of Grand Rapids.” 

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