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2007 Annual Report

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A Letter from Joe Gavan

A Letter from Joe Gavan Vice President, Communications & Development While Van Andel Institute stands out in the Grand Rapids skyline for its beautiful architecture and in the world of science for its many accomplishments, it is only as a member of a deeply committed community that we can fulfill the promise of our mission to improve the health and enhance the lives of generations to come. I wish that I had space in this letter to thank each and every individual who has played such a key role in funding our important mission, attending, sponsoring and helping to organize our full slate of events throughout the year and volunteering their time and energy to act as the Institute’s ambassadors to the world at large. These friends deserve our recognition and thanks, and are listed on the pages that follow. I would, however, like to single out the members of the Bringing Hope to Life Campaign Steering Committee and its Co-Chairs John and Marie Canepa, Jim and Kathy Hackett, Kyle and Win Irwin, and Mike and Sue Jandernoa for their exemplary leadership and hard work in helping the Institute to launch its first major gifts campaign in October 2007. Philanthropy & Development Support for Van Andel Institute comes in many forms. Every gift makes a difference at Van Andel Institute, because every dollar goes directly to research and education. Van Andel Institute

2007 was a groundbreaking year in so many ways for Van Andel Institute that it is easy to overlook the fact that Bringing Hope to Life is the Institute’s first campaign of its kind. The goal of Bringing Hope to Life is to raise a minimum of million by December 2009, to fund the creation of a Parkinson chair, the expansion of pioneering research and education programs not covered by grant funding, and renovations to Crescent Park. The deeply committed philanthropic community of West Michigan has had no difficulty in recognizing the connection between the Institute’s commitment to basic and translational research and the treatments that have the potential to change the lives of patients. By the end of 2007, the campaign was well on its way to achieving its goal with pledges totaling .4 million. It is easy to glance at a litany of statistics and see the need: as life expectancy increases, the incidence of cancer, Parkinson and Alzheimer’s disease increases at an alarming rate. Nearly 600,000 Americans died from cancer in 2007; 1.5 million Americans currently have Parkinson disease; five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and the odds of diagnosis double every five years beyond age 65. Philanthropic investment in support of Bringing Hope to Life is essential to fund: Novel Research & Inquiry-Based Science Education Programs > > > million Highly promising research such as our Compassionate Care Protocol (pg. 24) and expanded programs for students across the entire continuum of learning The Jay Van Andel Parkinson Research Lab > > > million The endowment of Jay Van Andel Parkinson Research Chair, the recruitment of a scientific investigator, and the purchase of state-of-theart equipment Our supporters understand that a commitment to basic research now will have a measurable effect on these statistics in the long run. But they also have the imagination to envision the project’s impact on individuals, which is practically immeasurable. For there has yet to be a metric devised to calculate the value of such outcomes as an enhanced chance at life for a cancer patient, the spark of passion engendered in the scientists of tomorrow, or the peace and relaxation that a renovated Crescent Park might afford visitors. We thank you for your continued support and your commitment to the future. Joseph P. Gavan Vice President, Communications & Development Crescent Park - Bringing Hope to Life Gathering Place > > > million A place for friends, families, students, and colleagues from throughout the community to gather to celebrate triumphs and reflect on challenges VAIVP, Communications & Development www.vai.org 39

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