Some visions come from very unlikely places. For the Executive Director of the Inter City Christian Federation the vision of restoring the century old D.A. Blodgett Home for Children came from a 1906 postcard showing the building in its original beauty. Thus began a long journey toward providing the clients of ICCF with a new home that offered both beauty and efficiency.
Faith based charities, as well as communities of faith, have unique fund raising challenges and opportunities. MAI has been able to help many churches realize their ministerial visions through congregational efforts. The Parish of the Holy Spirit was one such example where consultative services were helpful in gauging parishioner support of an ambitious plan to renovate and expand the school with the construction of a new church to follow.
MAI revels in the opportunity to take on unique and challenging projects. Few were as interesting and enriching as the partnership with Binder Park Zoo. The Zoo was established in 1977 to provide natural history education, wildlife conservation, and outdoor recreation for people in southwest and south central Michigan.
In 1997, MAI was invited to work with Notre Dame Academy in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Notre Dame Academy was the outcome of the consolidation of four individual private schools; and it quickly was growing into the area’s preeminent, college preparatory school. What started in 1997, grew into a 15 year partnership. Initially, MAI was contracted to perform a feasibility study on more than $13 million of critical needs.
Beautiful Camp Blodgett, situated on the shores of Lake Michigan, offered many inner city children their first glimpse of an “ocean like” experience. Even though the Lake was only a 30 minute drive from their neighborhoods, most of these children had never seen the “big lake” because they had no means of travel.
In preparation for the celebration of the sesquicentennial anniversary of the City of Grand Rapids, a group of citizens was formed to consider a major project that would highlight this historic event. Chaired by a young attorney who would later become Mayor, the committee developed an ambitious plan to create a River Walk along the Grand River downtown.