Concerts, Events to Raise Benevolent Care Funds

Post a Comment » Written on July 23rd, 2007     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (July 23, 2007) – Widely acclaimed musician Ken Medema is helping Covenant Retirement Communities (CRC) roll out its “By Your Side” campaign to raise money for benevolent care funds.

The care funds bridge the gap between what current residents who have used most of their income sources can afford to pay and the actual cost of housing. With the rising population of seniors – who also are living longer – the need for benevolent funds is expected to double in the next six years, according to CRC projections.

MedemaIn 1997, CRC and its benevolent care funds provided a combined total of $2 million to help 272 residents. By 2004, that had risen to $5 million for 227 residents. The cost for helping residents is projected to jump to $10 million by 2010.

Every CRC community is responsible for developing and administrating its own benevolent care fund. In recent years, care commitments have exceeded the available funds and the retirement communities have had to draw from alternative sources, including investment income and entrance fees.

CRC has enough money to cover current needs, but hopes to raise $50 million to help solidify the funds for the future, says John Wallgren, stewardship officer.

Medema already has performed at Mt. Miguel Covenant Village in Spring Valley, California, and Covenant Village of Golden Valley in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In coming months, he is scheduled to appear at four retirement centers. Following is a schedule of upcoming benefit concerts (ticket price includes dinner):
•    September 20 – Covenant Village of Turlock, California; ticket price, $40
•    September 25 – Covenant Village of Colorado in Westminster, Colorado; ticket price, $75
•    October 7 – Covenant Village of Cromwell in Cromwell, Connecticut; ticket price, $55
•    October 10 – Covenant Village of Florida in Plantation, Florida; ticket price, $75

Wallgren enlisted Medema after hearing him at the Covenant Village of the Great Lakes in Grand Rapids, Michigan, last year. The artist has written the campaign theme song “By Your Side.” The theme is drawn from Matthew 28:20, when Jesus tells his disciples, “And surely, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Medema also has penned a song based on the life of Annette Grandin, daughter of an early Covenant pastor and a resident of Covenant Village of Golden Valley. Benevolent care funds had enabled her to continue living at the community. Her story is told as part of the campaign presentation.

At each of his concerts, Medema asks audience members to share experiences from their lives and then performs a song based upon the stories. The songs range from the outlandishly funny to what he describes as “tearjerkers.” Wallgren encourages people who plan on attending the CRC concerts to consider in advance what stories they might want to share.

Wallgren said Medema is not performing at other CRC communities because they already had their benevolent care fund events planned. Those benefit events are scheduled from September to November and include:
•    September 8 – Covenant Shores located in Mercer Island, Washington, will host a golf tournament and luncheon; entertainment is Primo Kim; cost is $65.
•    September 15 – The Holmstad in Batavia, Illinois, will hold a grand hors d¹oeuvres buffet and raffle; entertainment is by The Singing Men of Oak Brook; cost is $60.
•    October 14 – Covenant Village of Northbrook, Illinois, will host hot and cold hors d¹oeuvres and Viennese-style desserts; Bob Stromberg will entertain; cost is $50 for adults and $25 for youth between the ages of 12 and 18.
•    November 3 – Covenant Village of the Great Lakes in Grand Rapids, Michigan, will host a lunch and raffle as well as a silent auction; Pete McLeod will entertain; cost is yet to be determined.

Individuals desiring to donate to the campaign are encouraged to contribute directly to their preferred individual CRC communities. For more information, visit the Covenant Retirement Communities page at the Evangelical Covenant Church website.

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