The Grand Traverse Pavilions has always taken great pride in managing the 28 acres that make up the Pavilions campus. From the day the Pavilions opened in June of 1998 there has been a reverence for the aesthetic nature of the campus once a part of the Traverse City State Hospital pastoral grounds. The Pavilions Foundation was established in 1997 to provide funding for the Pavilions programs and services that benefit the indigent elderly county residents and to ensure these services for generations to come. The Foundation Benevolence Endowment Fund was established early on to specifically provide scholarships for those less fortunate who may not otherwise have been able to afford independent or assisted living services. Additionally, the Arboretum Fund was established to preserve the collection of trees that provide the park like setting on the campus. This Grand Lawn is the annual site for the traditional Concerts on the Lawn free weekly outdoor concert series that is coordinated by the Pavilions Foundation each summer June through August.
Amazingly 2018 will mark the 20th anniversary of the Grand Traverse Pavilions. This will be an opportunity to invite the community, our residents, staff, and their families, to help celebrate the wonderful resources the Pavilions provides for the families in our region. According to Foundation Executive Director, Deborah Allen, "There are various ways that supporters can assist the Pavilions, but the most popular is through honorary or memorial giving as part of our Gifts of Gratitude program."
Allen explained that giving brochures are available at the Pavilions’ reception area, financial offices, and at the various nurse’s stations for the convenience of residents and guests to make a gift in honor of a caregiver in thanks for their services or in memory of a loved one who has passed. Gifts often range in size from a few dollars to several thousand dollars.
As part of the 20th anniversary celebration, the Pavilions Foundation will be unveiling the “Pavilions Plaza” which will feature a lovely paved sitting area and fountain located in the front circle entrance of the Grand Traverse Pavilions. Leo Hughes, an initial Pavilions Foundation Board member and one of the approvers of the Pavilions construction design as a member of the Department of Health and Human Services Board. Hughes shared that the Fountain was an initial element of the Grand Traverse Pavilions plans, but had to be postponed to help reduce the construction costs. Hughes also shared, "It was the initial intent of the fountain to provide a serene handicapped accessible area close to the Pavilions where residents, staff, and guests could enjoy nature and the soothing sounds of the fountain waters – thus the Healing Garden concept was born."
According to Grand Traverse Pavilions Administrator/CEO, Kory Hansen, one of the first actions of the Pavilions Foundation was to establish the “Grand Traverse Pavilions Healing Garden Fund” to support the construction and maintenance of the garden and fountain at a later date.” Over the years the Fund has generated more than $70,000 in donations for the plaza and fountain area. Preparation has started with some initial excavation for the plumbing and electrical to support the fountain feature. The balance of the work will be completed in the spring of 2018 with plans to have a special dedication of the Plaza in June coinciding with the Pavilions 20th Anniversary celebration.
The Foundation plans to raise additional funds in support of the project through a naming opportunity for the plaza, as well as the planned sale of brick pavers that will be available to commemorate, honor or memorialize individuals, families or special occasions. Allen shared that “We plan to make the brick pavers available for $100 - $250 based on the size of the bricks.” Other giving opportunities will include Living Memorials (such as a dedication of a tree or plantings), park benches, and potential for sculptures or art features for the Plaza.
Several families have already approached the Grand Traverse Pavilion Foundation to discuss memorial opportunities as part of the overall beautification efforts on the Pavilions campus. “We are so very grateful for the many families who have not only entrusted us with the care of their loved one, but who want to demonstrate their appreciation with a memorial gift to support the ongoing beautification of the facility for generations to come,” stated Allen.
A fundraising campaign for the plaza will be launched after the first of the year. However, if families are interested in making a gift now, or for the Holidays, they can call the Foundation office, at 231-932-3018 for more information.