Meet our donors!
Read about the good that comes from your support for older adults.
Meet Our Donors - Evie Bowers
Evie Bowers has a unique perspective on UMRC-Porter Hills, having lived at two of its Chelsea and Grand Rapids locations.
Evie met her late husband, Jack, in college while he was studying to enter the ministry. The two were married and moved to Grand Rapids where he served the Fountain Street Church for 30 years. Evie was a member of the church’s foundation board. “My interest was sharing with others why we have a foundation and why it’s important to support it,” says Evie. “At our church, we reaped the benefits of those who had donated before. It’s important to tell that story.”
After retiring, the couple moved to Cook Valley Estates in 2000. “We decided to make the move young enough that we could get to know people,” says Evie who became co-chair of the Welcome Committee.
When UMRC and Porter Hills affiliated in 2019, Evie says, “My ears perked up – my youngest son and his family live in Chelsea.” In 2020, Evie moved to Chelsea Retirement Community (CRC) to be near them.
“Every move has been my choice – that makes for a happy move,” says Evie. “I have found wonderful people here, both team members and residents. Just like Porter Hills, CRC has the continuum of care. That’s important, to be able to stay on the same campus.”
Evie has supported the UMRC-Porter Hills Foundation and is a member of the Legacy Society with a planned gift from her estate. “Every small amount helps,” says Evie. “It’s easy to give a percent in your will. People have paid it forward for many years – we owe it to the people who will come after."
Meet Our Donors – Dr. Robert W. Browne
Dr. Robert W. Browne’s success in the fields of dentistry and business was influenced by many facets of his early life – from growing up with his hard-working grandparents during the Depression, to the discipline he learned as a 19-year-old serving in World War II. As a young man, Dr. Browne was driven to set and achieve goals and to serve others.
“Gratitude holds no bias. It only seeks to return a kindness that someone chose to bestow on another.” Dr. Browne’s quote illustrates his passion for giving back, whether to his hometown of Coldwater, Michigan; to his alma mater, the University of Michigan, where he graduated from dental school and earned an advanced degree in orthodontics; or to the UMRC-Porter Hills Foundation in support of older adults and our team members who provide excellent care and service.
In 2020, Dr. Browne provided a generous gift which supported both the Foundation’s Team Member Scholarship fund and the creation of the Rooftop Garden at Porter Hills Village, named for Dr. Browne and his late wife, Lynn. (Dr. Browne passed away in January 2022.)
“My parents were philanthropic and particularly interested in the pursuit of education,” says Dr. Browne’s son, Jim. “In addition, Porter Hills has taken care of many of my parents’ friends. Dad was always impressed with the care provided at Porter Hills Village, where he lived. A gift that supports the educational pursuits and career goals of Brio Living Services team members seems like a natural fit for my dad.”
Meet Our Donors – Charles and Aryle Wilcox
Charles Wilcox knew the value of working hard, growing up on a farm in Dansville, Michigan where the days started at 5:00 a.m., milking cows. Soon after he and his wife, Arlyle, were married, Charles’ father handed the farm over to him. Now, their son, Gary and his wife, Emily, manage the farm that is celebrating its centennial this year.
Just as the Wilcox’s legacy of farming continues, so does their faith. Charles was an active, lifelong member of Millville United Methodist Church where his family still attends.
The couple learned about United Methodist Retirement Communities (UMRC) when a former pastor came to live at Chelsea Retirement Community. They appreciated its faith-based mission and the opportunity to support the Benevolent Care fund, particularly for those who followed God’s calling into the ministry.
Charles and Arlyle’s legacy continues today through their estate plan. “They set aside a percent of their equity to go to the Lord’s work upon their passing,” says Gary. “UMRC-Porter Hills Foundation is one of those.”
“God has blessed our family,” Gary continues. “So, we are blessed to give back to His work, not because we can or think we have to, but because we want to.”
Ready to Become a Member?
To learn more about supporting the UMRC-Porter Hills Foundation, or becoming a member of the UMRC-Porter Hills Legacy Society, call 734.433.1000 ext. 7502 (east) or 616.577.2297 (west).
To Make a Gift Now: Click here to make a secure online gift via credit card to the UMRC-Porter Hills Foundation.