In a place with as much history as the Holland Christian Home, there are more than a few individuals who stand out for making it what it is today.
While it’s easy to look back after the fact and acknowledge a debt of gratitude, it must have been clear even at the time that they were accomplishing something truly significant.
It is certainly clear today. At the Home’s 124th Anniversary Dinner, held at the Tides Estate in September of 2019, two special members of the Holland Christian Home family were recognized for their legacy of contributions. John Belanus, HCH Association board member and Spirit of Progress Building Project Chairman, and Richard Kuiken, former Executive Director of the HCH Foundation, were each presented with a Spirit of Progress Award and publicly thanked for their roles in strengthening the Home’s mission for a new generation.
As a former HCH Board President with a background in construction, John was the perfect person to ask to be the liaison for the Spirit of Progress building project – a cause he has championed since it was first considered over a decade ago. Calling him “a natural leader who knows staff members and residents by name,” Administrator of Residential Services Carole Dykhouse presented him a trophy built on a brick removed from the Home during construction.
Just as well-known within the community, Rich Kuiken was the very first leader of the HCH Foundation – a role he performed with magnanimity for 15 years. Known by all for his care and concern for everyone who lived and worked at the Home, Rich led fundraising efforts in a time of rapid change and helped to build the Foundation into what it is today. John Steen, the first President of the Foundation Board of Trustees, presented the award.
The dinner, held at The Tides Estate in North Haledon, featured the musical talents of the North Jersey Homeschool Association String Ensemble and Chorale and was emceed for the third straight year by Pastor Emeritus John Algera of Madison Avenue Christian Reformed Church. All funds raised will go toward the Spirit of Progress campaign.
Pictured above are Foundation Executive Director Dave Zuidema, Association Executive Director & Administrator Carlos G. Beato, Spirit of Progress Award Recipients Rich Kuiken and John Belanus, President of the HCH Foundation Abe Van Wingerden, and President of the HCH Board of Directors Steven Eichhorn.