Mark Breon: A Lifelong Passion for Philanthropy

By: Pine Rest Staff

“I credit my passion for giving back to my parents, who have always been philanthropic and encouraged me to start volunteering in the community at a young age. After graduate school, my spirit and capacity to give continued to grow, so I looked for the best ways that I could give back to causes I was passionate about in my community.

I got connected with other young professionals in the Grand Rapids area who wanted to get involved with local non-profits by giving their time and energy. I wanted to focus on organizations that were communicating to and engaging millennials. I also felt it was important to get involved with organizations addressing issues for which I have a passion, one of those being mental and behavioral health. In 2012, I joined with other young professionals who were also passionate about this topic to form PR Connect, which is an advisory board to the Pine Rest Foundation. The goal of PR Connect is simple – to get people talking in order to break down the stigma surrounding mental illness.

As I have grown in my career, I have more money available to give, and balance that with giving my time and talents. My hope is that groups like PR Connect will inspire other young professionals to get involved and give back in whichever ways they are able.

Recently, I added Pine Rest to my estate plans because mental illness needs the same attention and care as our as physical health. I’ve also seen the benefits of someone getting help when they have reached out to Pine Rest and want to make sure everyone is able to get treatment when they need it.

I hope my passion for giving back will encourage you to do the same. Go out and find what interests you and give how you can. Every bit helps!” — Mark Breon, Advisor, Strategic Ventures & Partnerships at Spectrum Health. 

For more information about advocating and fundraising with PR Connect or leaving Pine Rest in your estate plans contact Kristin Long, Philanthropy Officer, at or 616.956.9611.

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of FYI, a newsletter of the Pine Rest Foundation.

The Pine Rest Foundation provides Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services with financial resources and community support by generating philanthropic gifts for the Patient Assistance Fund, the Pine Rest Foundation Endowment, and for special projects.

To see more patient stories, to find upcoming events and learn how you can get involved, visit








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