Pella Chronicle

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March 28, 2013

Hearthstone Receives $1 million for The Cottages from Community Foundations

Pella —

The Cottages, an innovative community designed to transform the aging experience by promoting healthy living, independence and dignity, received a strong sign of community support in the sum of $1 million from the Pella Community Foundation and the Marion County Community Foundation.

The Pella Community Foundation is giving $600,000 while the Marion County Community Foundation is donating $400,000 for The Cottages, a $20 million development initiated by Hearthstone, a Ministry of WesleyLife. Groundbreaking for The Cottages is scheduled for April 17 on the 50-acre building site along North Main Street near Big Rock Road in Pella.

“We are most grateful for these extraordinary gifts, which are a strong endorsement of community support for The Cottages,” says Hearthstone Executive Director Nancy Hamilton. “This transformational development will meet the urgent need for assisted living and skilled nursing with households designed as individual homes to promote independence and social engagement.

WesleyLife has committed $15 million to The Cottages and secured financing through local banks. A campaign to raise the balance of $5 million from the community is making steady progress with contributions totaling $3.83 million.

The three largest gifts to date for The Cottages campaign are from:

-Vermeer Charitable Foundation: $1.5 million

-Pella Community Foundation: $600,000

-Marion County Community Foundation: $400,000

Jim Brandl, president of the Pella Community Foundation, says supporting Hearthstone and The Cottages is a perfect fit for the city’s foundation. “That’s because the foundation’s purpose,” he adds, “is to preserve the heritage and enhance the quality of life for the people of Pella by facilitating the transfer of funds from the hands of people who wish to help others into the hands of the nonprofit organizations that can do it most effectively.  This grant represents a major and dramatic fulfillment of our mission statement.  It is said, ‘People do not give TO the Foundation, they give through the Foundation,’ and that’s precisely what happened in this situation.”

Shirley Borgman, president of the Marion County Community Foundation, says providing support for The Cottages helps the organization “fulfill its mission to foster private giving, strengthen service providers, and improve the conditions of the community.”  Borgman noted that the need for services for older adults is at an unprecedented level because one in six Marion County residents is age 65 or older.

“The Cottages will meet the current and future demand for assisted living, skilled nursing and rehabilitation, making it possible for Marion County residents to stay near their loved ones.  In addition, specialized memory support programming will be offered for those adults with early- and late-stage dementia,” says Mary Van Zante, vice president of the Marion County Community Foundation and a director of the Pella Community Foundation.   Regarding the grants, she added, “Special thanks to the Kuyper and Farver families whose extraordinary generosity make this $1 million combined gift possible.  These are by far the largest gifts the foundations have been able to provide, and they will have a lasting impact on Pella and Marion County as The Cottages become a reality.”


The Cottages, scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013, will provide 116 older adults a place to call home where there is an emphasis on abilities and living life to the fullest. Residents will enjoy both their independence and the benefits of being part of a close-knit community.

The six cottages will be filled with abundant natural light and have ample green space, including landscaped courtyards. The commons area will include a café-style bistro open to residents and their families, as well as the community.

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