Meijers’ Financial Gift Boosts Kelsey Hospital Capital Campaign

Chief executive officer for Spectrum Health United Memorial, Paul Bonis, announced today that Fred and Lena Meijer have once again stepped forward with a donation to support health care in our local communities.

“Their gift, in the form of a matching donation up to $250,000 is intended to boost the Building A Healthy Future Together capital campaign and encourage community members to step forward,” says Bonis. “The Meijers’ continued support is greatly appreciated by the Spectrum Health United Memorial family.”

In addition to their financial contribution, Fred and Lena Meijer have also signed on as members of the Honorary Cabinet.

Born at the family home in Amble in 1919, Lena Rader (Meijer) attended Lakeview community schools. Not only was she a trumpeter in the Lakeview High School band, Lena also proved to be an accomplished piano player and square dancer. She loved living on the family farm and fondly recalls milking the family’s 15 cows.

She said that there was plenty of time for fun, too, taking part in riding her pigs and scaling the nearby windmill. “There was a big windmill we all used to climb, and I still remember eating lunch on the platform with my friends.”

The Rader family has a long history with Kelsey Hospital and the long term care unit.  “My mother was often called to be an interpreter for German patients,” noted Lena Meijer, whose grandmother lived in the long term care unit until she passed away at the age of 98.

“Dr. Kelsey was our family doctor.  I remember Dr. Kelsey coming to the house when I was sick,” said Lena Meijer.  “In fact, because we lived near the highway, Dr. Kelsey would drive to our home in the winter, leave his car, and my father would take him in his horse and sleigh to see patients in their homes. He would never charge the house calls. When he was done, my mother was always ready with a hot meal for Dr. Kelsey and my dad.”

After working as a cashier at the Bank of Lakeview in her late teens, Lena Rader moved to the Greenville area and began working at the Thrift Market, which was owned by the Meijer family.  It was there that Lena and Fred first met. They were married in 1946, and together raised three sons and now have seven grandchildren.

“It was good to know the hospital was always there when we needed it,” said Lena Meijer. “Fred and I believe you should always build for the future, and we are pleased to lend our support to this project.”

“The capital campaign, announced September 18, has been going very well and there is no doubt this announcement will only serve to encourage more people in our community to contribute,” said campaign co-chairman, Bill Benear. “The Meijers have always stayed in touch with the people of Lakeview, and this is a tremendous show of support.”

The Kelsey Hospital project calls for an expanded Emergency Department that will see capacity triple, while providing all private exam and treatment rooms and state-of-the-art technology.  In addition, much-needed off-street parking will be added, and new sleep labs will be constructed.

Spectrum Health United Memorial is committed to providing excellent personal care and services through state-of-the-art technology and qualified, caring staff at the Kelsey Hospital in Lakeview and the United Hospital in Greenville. Spectrum Health United Memorial provides local access to quality care through the region’s largest health care system.