Societies

The Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Foundation offers two societies for those who have made significant contributions to the Foundation. Members qualify for permanent recognition at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and are invited to the annual Donor Recognition event.

Bonsai Society

Those who have cumulative monetary gifts and/or pledges in estate plans of $100,000 or more to the Foundation are members of the Bonsai Society.

To qualify for membership with an estate gift pledge, donors must submit a copy of the gift provision in their estate plan, or have other written documentation, verifying that the $100,000 minimum has been met.

If a donor's plan calls for a percentage of the estate's remainder, and the amount will meet or exceed $100,000, a written statement from the donor's estate planner, tax consultant, or attorney would meet the requirement for membership.

Members
  • Kenneth Bandstra
  • Karl F. & Patricia J. Betz
  • John D. & Marian F. Bouwer
  • Dr. David G. Dvorak & Ms. Karol J. Peterson
  • Fred Fichter
  • Dirk Hoffius
  • Joan Hoffman
  • Earl & Donnalee Holton
  • Sarah & Michael Julien
  • Thomas Peter Kapteyn
  • C. Thomas & Evelyn Kapteyn
  • Mary Ann Keeler
  • Ray Loeschner
  • Lena Meijer
  • Hank & Liesel Meijer
  • Thomas P. Merchant & Glen W. Johnson
  • John & Gail Nowak
  • Richard & Valerie Peacock
  • June Prein
  • Bernie & Rose Rosenthal
  • Peter & Joan Secchia
  • Lynn & John P. Vinkemulder

Perennial Society

Those who have a cumulative monetary gifts and/or pledges in estate plans of $10,000 or more to the Foundation are members of the Perennial Society.

To qualify for membership with an estate gift pledge, donors must submit a copy of the gift provision in their estate plan, or have other written documentation, verifying that the $10,000 minimum has been met.

If a donor's plan calls for a percentage of the estate's remainder, and the amount will meet or exceed $10,000, a written statement from the donor's estate planner, tax consultant, or attorney would meet the requirement for membership.

Members
  • John G. & Janet Baab
  • Jean W. Barkin
  • Nancy Batts
  • Charles & Debbie Beckwith
  • Ken Betz & Pat Brewer
  • Charles & Patricia Bloom
  • John Bodary
  • William & Laurie Boer
  • Fred A. Bogaert
  • Vern & Norma Boss
  • Paul & Cathy Boyer
  • Molly Bradshaw
  • Daniel & Barbara Braun
  • Sheri Brolick
  • Jim & Donna Brooks
  • Joan Buchanan
  • Jesse & Gia Budrick
  • Robert & Sandra Burnham
  • Kent Garden Club
  • Robert & Susan Conklin
  • Fred Cooper
  • Glen B. Corp
  • Gilbert R. & Patricia K. Davis
  • Robert & Lois De Boer
  • Daniel & Pamella DeVos
  • James & Judy DeLapa
  • Abby J. & Milo R. DeVries
  • Elizabeth Tinney Donley
  • Chris & Deanna Eckert
  • Jon C. Ferguson
  • Gregory & Kathy Forzley
  • Nancy McKenzie Frost
  • Henry G. Fuhs
  • Gillett Family Foundation Trust
  • John & Nancy Gordon
  • William & Suzanne Green
  • Sid & Elizabeth Harkema
  • John & Gwen Hibbard
  • Dirk & June Hoffius
  • Robert Hooker
  • David S. & Leslie A. Hooker
  • Marilyn Hunting
  • Mike & Sue Jandernoa
  • Charles R. & Linda H. Johnson
  • Donald & Bunny Johnson
  • Jeanne M. Kapenga
  • James & Amy Keane
  • Donald E. & Ann Kelley
  • John & Nancy Kennedy
  • Sue Kloostra
  • Wayne & Vicki Korson
  • Douglas & Raymonde Kramlich
  • Kathleen Maine
  • David R. & Mary A. Mapes
  • Edward & Diana Marsilje
  • Barbara Mayo-Johnson
  • Mac & Pinky McPherson
  • Linda & David Mehney
  • Deborah Meijer
  • Jack H. Miller
  • Richard G. & Maureen J. Morrison
  • John W. Morrison
  • Jeanenne Morton
  • Katharine L. Neff
  • James E. & Mary G. Nelson
  • Arlene Obetts
  • Jeff & Peg Padnos
  • Todd & Jan Polavin
  • James & Marie Preston
  • Patrick Pullen & Linda Chamberlain
  • David & Kathleen Ray
  • Shirley J. Roskam
  • Alwyn & Chris Rougier-Chapman
  • Budge & Marilyn Sherwood
  • Mark Sherwood & Saralyn Coupe
  • Hilary F. Snell
  • John & Judy Spoelhof
  • Jesse & Becky Stewart
  • Helen & Fred Tallmadge
  • The Tassell-Wisner-Bottrall Foundation
  • Marilyn Titche
  • George & Kerstin Trowbridge
  • Frank & Sharon Van Haven
  • Connie Wenger
  • Gwen Bolt & Dorothy Williamson
  • Stephen & Cheryl Wonch

Join

If you would like to become a member of the society, please contact Susanne Veeneman, Executive Director of the Foundation, at 616-791-3901 or susanne.veeneman@meijer.com.

Donors enjoy drinks and a strolling dinner atop the newly opened Stuart and Barbara Padnos Rooftop Sculpture Garden.

2019 Annual Donor Event

It was an evening rife with numbers.

Virtually every one of them told a story.

The stories alternately celebrated splendid moments from the past, enthusiastic discussions of the exciting things happening at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in real time, and expectations of the dynamic changes on both the near and far horizon.

The anecdotes surfaced this past June, when the Foundation honored members of its Perennial and Bonsai Societies, comprised of donors whose cumulative gifts and pledges to the Foundation meet or exceed $10,000 and $100,000, respectively.

Approximately 100 people showed up to celebrate another year of giving - atop the newly opened Stuart and Barbara Padnos Rooftop Sculpture Garden - where they enjoyed drinks and a strolling dinner.

David S. Hooker, president and CEO of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, addressed the group and used numbers to emphasize everything from history to growth to patronage. “It’s been 8,834 days since Fred and Lena Meijer and President and Mrs. Ford cut the ribbon here,” he began, an allusion to the opening of Meijer Gardens on April 20, 1995.

He went on to describe how 12.2 million members and guests have visited Meijer Gardens to experience the joy of our unique mission of horticulture and sculpture. People have enjoyed exhibitions including: 24 presentations of the Metro Health Christmas and Holiday Traditions; 24 presentations of the Fred and Dorothy Fichter Butterflies are Blooming; 21 Chrysanthemums and More and 68 temporary sculpture exhibitions. There have also been 264 and counting concerts at the Frederik Meijer Gardens Amphitheater.

The Meijer Gardens volunteers are very generous. Here is a fact to illustrate their generosity. Every hour of every day Meijer Gardens is open there are an average of 26 volunteers doing something good for someone else. Approximately 88,000 hours in total will be gifted to Meijer Gardens. Most extraordinary.

And yes, the highly anticipated new welcome center will open 2021, boasting 69,000 square feet, enough to accommodate the 700,000-plus who now yearly visit and give new ways to present the mission.

Attendees had plenty of other numbers to share as well.

For Bill Boer, a new Foundation board member and finance specialist, Meijer Gardens represents a facility where especially big numbers help make it go and grow. He and wife, Laurie, cited the Meijer family for coming up with a vision and the initial investment to make the Gardens a reality. But Bill noted, “When you look at the names of all the other donors and the numbers they’re giving, it’s incredible to see how the rest of the community steps up.”

“And all those volunteers,” Laurie added. “It’s amazing how so many people get involved at that level of interest.”

For Jeanenne Morton, a foursome was on her mind – that of herself and Lena Meijer and both their late husbands, Dick Morton and Fred Meijer. They did a lot of chumming around together, including a trip to Italy during the time Meijer Gardens was in the process of acquiring the signature sculpture “The American Horse,” which was installed in October 1999.

For Patrick Pullen and Linda Chamberlain, it was an opportunity to discuss how it seems those administrating Meijer Gardens have a “200-year vision.”

“We know this is going to last for so very long after all of us are gone,” said Linda. As for Patrick, he noted how quickly funds were raised for the new welcome center: “The speed at which the money was raised speaks to the community’s involvement and its willingness to buy in,” he said.

Gwen and John Hibbard come to Meijer Gardens about “once every two weeks, and we walk, seeking our daily steps,” says Gwen. “Every time we come out here, we see something so surprisingly new, or in a new way. Such wonderful pieces of sculpture, and this past spring, we saw turtles coming out of hibernation. So incredible – everything.”

Charles and Patricia Bloom have been married 62 years and cherish their nine grandkids. “This place is so beautiful,” says Pat. “I’m so in love with it, all our kids love it, and it’s so comforting to know that it will flourish forever for our grandkids and well beyond.” Adds Chuck, “For generations to come.”

For Connie Wenger, the number 8 has significance; it’s how many years she volunteered at Meijer Gardens.

Connie marveled at the changes being made to the grounds, but she also clings to an anecdote from many years ago, when she first started coming to Meijer Gardens.

“I was volunteering here one Sunday just before Christmas, and this older couple walked in to buy a poinsettia plant. They went back and forth on which one to buy, and they took a long time deciding. They finally chose, and I wrapped it up real good. I asked the man if he worked in Grand Rapids and he laughed and handed me a card. It was a coupon good for a free cone at the Purple Cow.

“It was Fred and Lena Meijer, and I always thought that was so sweet.”