Patrick Center July 11, 2014 | WGVU “Everything he did was about people.”
Rev. Mark Przybysz, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua was a longtime friend of philanthropist, Peter Wege.
“His work with the environment was not a solo issue, it was about people. He wanted to save the world for future generations.”
On this day, Peter Wege was described as a dreamer and visionary. He supported environmental and educational causes, arts & culture, human services and health care. Rev. Przybysz recalled a meeting with the Saint Mary’s board in the late 19-90’s when Wege proposed construction on the Wege Center for Mind, Body and Spirit. The idea of incorporating acupuncture, massage therapy, art and music therapy for total body healing were initially rejected.
“But he was a visionary, but he kept saying, ‘This is what the people need. Acupuncture’s been around a lot longer than modern day medicine. Music therapy touches the soul. We need this for Saint Mary’s for a holistic approach.’ As he would say, ‘Not alternative medicine, but complimentary medicine.’ and you know what? People listened and softened and eventually it became a part of the hospital. But it’s not just at Saint Mary’s now, it’s everywhere.”
Peter Wege began The Wege Foundation in 1967.At the foundation website, he says lessons in charitable giving were formed by his father, Peter Martin, founder of what today is Steelcase, and mother Sophia Louise.
Today, West Michigan thanks them and Peter for dreaming and making the world a better place.
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