Helen DeVos was honored with the Gold Baton Award at the League of American Orchestras' 2012 National Conference on June 8 in Dallas, TX.
Since 1948, the League has awarded the Gold Baton Award to individuals who have distinguished themselves through outstanding service to the orchestra field. DeVos joins past honorees including Beverly Sills and John Williams. Helen DeVos served on the League’s board from 1982-1992 and is an Honorary Member. The League of American Orchestras has been supported for more than 30 years by the Richard and Helen DeVos Foundation.
Helen DeVos was a member of the Grand Rapids Symphony’s board from 1971-1991 and continues to serve as an Honorary Member. In 1974, Rich and Helen DeVos were the founding sponsors of the orchestra’s DeVos Quartet. Initially reluctant to place their name on the city’s performance hall which opened in 1980, they chose to do so in order to inspire others to step forward with support. In 2002, they became the title sponsors of the Symphony’s Richard and Helen DeVos Classical Series.
“I don’t remember a time in my life when music wasn’t a part of it,” said DeVos. “In college, I discovered our local orchestra and have been in love with orchestral music ever since.'
“Music can enrich the heart of the community. It takes a whole community, not just the music lovers in it, to keep the music playing.”