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2022 Spring/Summer Highlights of Hope

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  • Highlights of hope
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  • Michigan
This is the 2022 Spring/Summer edition of Van Andel Institute's Highlights of Hope donor publication.

VAI PURPLE COMMUNITY VAI

VAI PURPLE COMMUNITY VAI Purple Community partners put in the time, effort and talent As one of Van Andel Institute’s core values, collaboration plays a central role in all work done at the Institute. Whether it’s the latest research breakthroughs in cancer and Parkinson’s, educational innovations for K–12 and graduate students, or well-crafted plans for signature events, we know the meaning of working together for something bigger than us. Our incredible community partners hold collaboration in high esteem, too. They work directly with the grassroots fundraising program VAI Purple Community to put their time, effort and connections to use in supporting VAI’s work. In 2021, VAI Purple Community programs raised more than 0,000, which — like all funds raised through VAI community and signature events — goes directly to the research and education programs at VAI. Here are just a few highlights from last year’s VAI Purple Community events: • West Ottawa Public Schools put on fundraisers all year long in support of VAI. In a typical year, each West Ottawa sports team holds a Purple Game, with the proceeds going directly to VAI’s work. While 2021 was certainly not a normal year, the girls’ soccer team was able to hold their Purple Game at the end of the 2020–21 school year. The players wore specially made jerseys featuring the names of people dear to them who have been affected by cancer, Parkinson’s or another disease — a tangible reminder of why we do the work we do here at the Institute. • Otsego Public Schools hold a huge football game in support of VAI every other year, thanks in large part to Holly McCaw, Otsego’s director of communications and a 2020 recipient of the Carol Van Andel Angel of Excellence Award. In 2021, they had to postpone their VAI Purple Community event to the spring, which required some creativity. Out of that came the first-ever VAI Purple Community Otsego 5K, featuring purple shirts, purple dust throws at race checkpoints and more. Organizers hosted games throughout the week leading up to the race, and a carnival closed out race day. • Duncan Lake Middle School has partnered with VAI for many years for its annual cancer walk. In 2021, the walk was held outside in the spring. Attendees could donate to dunk a teacher, participate in a silent auction online, or purchase a variety of popsicles, ice cream and other cool treats, with all funds going directly to cancer research at the Institute. To learn more about VAI Purple Community and how to start your own event, visit purplecommunity.org. (STARTING AT TOP, GOING DOWN) RUNNERS RACE ACROSS THE FINISH LINE AT VAI PURPLE COMMUNITY OTSEGO 5K; WHEN NOT RACING, ATTENDEES COULD TRY TO DUNK A TEACHER; A GOLF CART DECKED OUT FOR THE OCCASION; RUNNERS WERE COVERED IN PURPLE POWDER AT RACE CHECKPOINTS 26 | VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE HIGHLIGHTS OF HOPE

(STARTING AT TOP LEFT, GOING CLOCKWISE) WALKERS DECKED OUT IN PHOTO PROPS BEFORE THE RACE; ATTENDEE SHIRTS FEATURED NAMES OF LOVED ONES HONORED IN THE WALK; WALKERS TAKE A BREAK TO HAVE FUN HULA HOOPING; A GROUP OF WALKERS MOVES AROUND THE TRACK; AN ATTENDEE SHARING WHAT THE CANCER WALK MEANS TO HER; WALKERS PARTICIPATING IN FUN AND GAMES WHEN NOT ON THE TRACK (STARTING AT FAR LEFT, GOING CLOCKWISE) SPECTATORS CHEER ON THE ATHLETES; ATTENDEES SHOWING OFF THEIR VAI PURPLE COMMUNITY SWAG IN THE STANDS; A WEST OTTAWA PLAYER LAUNCHES THE BALL DOWN THE FIELD; WEST OTTAWA GIRLS’ SOCCER TEAM CELEBRATING THEIR SUCCESSFUL FUNDRAISING VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE HIGHLIGHTS OF HOPE | 27

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