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Newton Senior Living Community Receives its Largest-Ever Gift; Will Use it to Assist Residents in Need  

NEWTON, IOWA–Park Centre, a WesleyLife community in Newton, has received its largest-ever charitable gift from a single donor: $2.7 million, to be used to help support residents in need throughout the campus.

The gift, from a donor who has chosen to remain anonymous, will help support the WesleyLife Promise at Park Centre. The promise makes it possible for residents to remain in the community after their financial resources have been depleted, often because of healthcare expenses.

Of the gift, $2 million will be used as a permanent endowment. The remainder will provide immediate support.

Rob Kretzinger, President and CEO of WesleyLife, said the gift—the second-largest in the 73-year-old history of WesleyLife from a single donor—is deeply appreciated, in large part because it was designated to assist residents in need.

“The fact that this donor could have chosen to assist any worthwhile organization but selected WesleyLife is humbling, and will allow us to continue to keep the WesleyLife Promise to our residents: that once someone has made a home in one of our communities, he or she will have a home forever,” Kretzinger said. “That promise is a critical part of our mission, and we are deeply grateful that this gift will help us uphold it at Park Centre.”

Chad Vogel, WesleyLife’s Vice President of Philanthropy, said each WesleyLife community has its own Good Samaritan Fund, and all communities have been called upon to use those funds over the years to benefit residents in crisis.

“The fact that the WesleyLife Promise is such a crucial part of who we are makes me doubly proud to be part of a not-for-profit senior living organization that truly lives its mission 24/7,” Vogel said. “This generous gift serves as a reinforcement that we are privileged to be able to promise our residents that they will never have to leave their homes with us because of a lack of funds.”

Shannon Minshall, Executive Director of Park Center, said it is often a healthcare emergency that depletes a resident’s finances, causing him or her to be unable to pay part or all of the monthly fee required to live in the community.

“Even when a resident has done everything right financially—saved well, invested well, prepared well—a medical catastrophe can deplete resources relatively quickly,” Minshall said.

“We are proud to be able to make such an important promise to the people who make their home with us, and I don’t have the words to adequately express how much this gift means to everyone at Park Centre.”

Guided by Christian compassion, WesleyLife enhances the independence, health, and well-being of individuals wherever they call home, transforming the aging experience so people live longer, healthier, more purposeful lives. Certified as a Great Place to Work, WesleyLife offers health and well-being services in 15 Iowa counties through our 11 communities, award-winning Adult Day programs, and an array of home and community-based services. In 2019, WesleyLife expanded to eastern Iowa and western Illinois in partnership with Genesis Health System via a new organization, WellSpire.