Gerry, Anna, and Nancy Hickey at WMCAT’s iBall gala

In the gallery area of WMCAT there is a large glass piece that lists contributors to our most recent capital campaign in alphabetical order. Under “Gerry and Nancy Hickey” is their daughter “Julia Hickey,” herself a WMCAT donor. For the Hickeys, supporting WMCAT is a family affair (their  daughter Caroline was once a front desk volunteer). And that family connection is a part of the legacy they want to leave with WMCAT.

“WMCAT is so important to us. We’ve been involved from the beginning,” said Nancy, a former board member and campaign chair for WMCAT. 

It was experiencing another family’s journey that made a lasting connection to WMCAT for Nancy and Gerry. 

WMCAT graduate from the Adult Career Training program walks across the stage at St. Cecelia.

“What really clicked WMCAT into my heart,” shared Nancy, “was the first adult graduation I attended. The place was so noisy, filled with graduating students’ families and excited kids running around.  And as I departed after the graduation, I saw a little boy take his mom’s graduation cap and put it on his head. And I thought, there is now an expectation that he, too, will be a graduate someday.  WMCAT changed his mom’s life, but it changed the family’s life too.”

Gerry and Nancy have introduced many friends and colleagues to WMCAT over the years, including their two daughters. Now they are joining other longtime friends of WMCAT in our new Circle of Opportunity legacy giving program, making plans to ensure WMCAT will be here for generations to come. 

“We’ve decided to tailor our giving to local organizations that positively impact the Grand Rapids community and mean a lot to us personally.” said Gerry. “And WMCAT is at the top of the list for us. Their impact on the community is great and we’re happy to be a part of it.”

You can join the Circle of Opportunity at WMCAT by making a current contribution to our endowment or providing for WMCAT through your estate planning. Incremental change alone will not bring about justice, but rather the long-term, collective action of friends like you is how we advance community prosperity for all. 

Find out more at wmcat.org/circleofopportunity or contact our director of development, Amy Knape at amy.knape@wmcat.org or 616-454-7004.