Dick and Betsy Devos have had a relentless effort to change the policies in the broader Michigan community through their influence and resources both in the political and social scene. Dick and Betsy Devos have been involved in transforming education reforms, coming up with new labor policies in Michigan and also have shared their time and resources with the community through their philanthropic efforts. One of the most significant acts of Dick Devos was experienced in 1991 when he lobbied against the idea of building a sports and convention Arena in the north downtown area of Grand Rapids. Dick Devos argued against the idea basing on his knowledge of history about the projects such as the Palace of Auburn Hills and the Pontiac Silverdome. Dick Devos further proved his argument by pointing out that the projects were a bad investment that led to losses after the departure of the Lions and Pistons in the 1970s. The move by Dick Devos to stop the development of the project led to the congregation of a group of prominent businessmen in the Grand Rapids area. The Grand Action group as they were famously known were the driving forces of various projects that transformed the skyline of Grand Rapids. Michigan State University medical school, the Devos Place Convention Centre, the Grand Rapids City Market, the Van Andel Arena and the Devos Performance Hall were among the projects overseen by the Grand Rapid Action group. The expansion of charter school has been the life purpose for Betsy Devos, and she has fought and defended her policies with everything at her disposal. Despite the visionary efforts of these great couples, their policies have not always been welcomed. Voters in 2000 rejected a constitutional amendment policy that was being sponsored by the Devos in their efforts to create tax-funded vouchers so that students can have the opportunity to attend private school. Dick Devos also lost the gubernatorial seat for Michigan to Jennifer Granholm. Despite their loses in life, Dick and Betsy Devos are a generous couple and have been known to give away over $100 million dollars towards philanthropic efforts. The Dick and Betsy Devos Family Foundation have contributed mostly towards human services, health, leadership programs, arts, and culture. Also, this charitable foundation has focused their time and resources in policy initiatives that revolve around scholarships for students to attend private school and reforms and policies in education.
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