11 months ago

2014 Winter Highlights of Hope

  • Text
  • Andel
  • Institute
  • Rapids
  • Sponsors
  • Scientific
  • Epigenetics
  • Michigan
  • Jovinge
  • Cardiovascular
  • Neurodegenerative


VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE GIVING Going to Bat for Breast Cancer Dolly Konwinski grew up on Chicago’s West Side during the lean years of the Great Depression. The 82-year-old grandmother still has fond memories of playing street ball with the boys in her neighborhood. That practice paid off as she went on to become one of the first female professional baseball players in the United States in the post-war Women’s League in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Dolly Konwinski poses with a pink bat signed by sports legends. The story of this fabled league was turned into the movie A League of Their Own in 1992. Dolly is a fighter, and her fierce spirit and gutsy determination have not only made her an unlikely historical figure, but a strident advocate in the fight against cancer. When Dolly’s husband, Bob, was diagnosed with cancer, she became increasingly aware of how many people are affected by the disease. One Sunday while making dinner and watching baseball, Dolly experienced an epiphany. “I was taking a break from cooking, and I sat down at the beginning of a Tigers game and I see one player come out and he has a pink bat, and I see another guy in the on-deck circle and he has a pink bat … and I sat back and thought I’d get some pink baseball bats and get champion athletes to sign them, then sell them and give the money to cancer research,” said Konwinski. members of the research staff. Soon after, she decided to donate all the proceeds from the pink bats to support breast cancer research at Van Andel Institute. Dolly traveled tirelessly across the United States to various sports memorabilia conventions, collecting more than 40 signatures on all four bats. Sports luminaries such as Nicholas Palmer, Gayle Sayers, Troy Aikman, Joe Montana, Brian Urlacher and Pete Rose all decided to help Dolly with her initiative. To date, Dolly has raised nearly ,000 to benefit cancer research at the Institute. “I know so many women affected by breast cancer… it’s a labor of love.” Dolly Konwinski Thanks to a chance encounter with her husband’s surgeon, Dr. John MacKeigan, Dolly learned about cancer research at Van Andel Institute. Dolly toured the facility and met with . Learn More: Go to to join Dolly Konwinski in supporting breast cancer research. Highlights of Hope / Winter 2014 There are many ways to join our fight. Learn more below or contact the Development Department with your questions at or 616.234.5120. ONLINE GIVING Visit to donate through PayPay TM or a secure electronic form, sign up for an email newsletter, find upcoming events or schedule a tour. DONATE BY MAIL Please make your check payable to Van Andel Institute and mail to: Development Department Van Andel Institute 333 Bostwick Ave N.E. Grand Rapids, MI 49503 ESTATE PLANNING The most practical way to make a significant impact may be through your estate plan. It ensures that the research, discovery and hope of Van Andel Institute continues for future generations. Contact Development to learn more. 26

A Legacy of Caring Giving a planned gift to Van Andel Institute shows commitment to disease research and science education and leaves a long-lasting legacy. For Vivian Anderson of Grant, Michigan, her bequest was one act of many in a lifetime of love, kindness and service of others. “Mother strongly believed in love, care and closeness of her family,” said Dawn Anderson, Vivian’s daughter. “She and my father took care of and provided for numerous relatives on both sides of the family. Their home was the center of gatherings, celebrations and family togetherness and strength.” Vivian and her husband Bob were fruit farmers for many years. They were some of the first local farmers to grow apricots for Gerber Baby Food Company, helping the company diversify its baby food offerings. Vivian’s legacy of caring for others continues with her planned gift to Van Andel Institute. Thanks to her generosity, discoveries in cancer and neurodegenerative disease research continue at a faster pace than ever before. Vivian also inspired Dawn to leave her own gift by including Van Andel Education Institute in her estate plans. “I believe in the future, in the young people who will discover more and in the dedication of the Institute that will provide the space, materials and guidance for this new generation to move forward and progress,” said Dawn. Vivian Anderson, a fruit farmer from Grant, Michigan, left a legacy for Van Andel Institute with her planned gift. “I believe in hope, the love of giving and the thrill of what will come next.” Dawn Anderson Van Andel Institute Donor The Development staff is happy to discuss planned giving opportunities that fit your interests, passions and legacy. Learn more by visiting or contacting Development at 616.234.5030. HOPE ON THE HILL BOARD OF GOVERNORS Members of the Hope on the Hill Board of Governors support the Institute financially and are the ambassadors who share our mission, vision and important work with others to help us gain further support to advance our efforts. CHAIR: John Canepa Martin & Sue Allen Ray & Alice Andrews Tony & Kathleen Asselta James & Shirley Balk John & Nancy Batts Charles & Christine Boelkins Jim & Donna Brooks Jerry & Suzanne Callahan John & Marie Canepa President Jimmy Carter Love & Valeda Collins Sam & Janene Cummings William & Janice Currie Dave & Karen Custer Daniel & Pamella DeVos Dick & Betsy DeVos Douglas & Maria DeVos Richard & Helen DeVos Jim & Gail Fahner John & Melynda Folkert David & Judy Frey Dan & Lou Ann Gaydou Gene & Tubie Gilmore Gary Granger Martin & Margaret Greydanus Jana Hall Ralph Hauenstein Steve & Brenda Heacock John & Gwen Hibbard Dirk & Victoria Hoffius Earl & Donnalee Holton Allen & Helen Hunting José & Sue Infante Win & Kyle Irwin Michael & Sue Jandernoa Sidney & Cate Jansma Dr. Peter A. & Veronica Jones John & Nancy Kennedy Craig & Debra Kinney Wilbur & Sharon Lettinga J-Board Members Members of the J-Board are young leaders who periodically gather to network and learn more about VAI so that they can serve as Institute ambassadors in the community. CO CHAIRS: Heidi Campbell & Rachel Mraz Zeke Alejos Lindsay Benedict Brandon Bissell Scott & Heidi Campbell Linda Jo Carron Natalie Cleary Aaron & Afton DeVos Leslie Drueke Dawn Fiedorowicz-Mackson Bo & Jennifer Fowler Mark Holtvluwer & Wendy Parr Holtvluwer Matthew & Sarah Hudson Brandi Jo Huyser Patrick Kane Ray Loeschner Tim & Kimberly Long Gary & Vicky Ludema Donald & Kathleen Maine Hank & Liesel Meijer Lena Meijer Mark & Mary Beth Meijer R. George Mickel Jack Miller Jamie Mills Louis & Nancy Moran Mark & Elizabeth Murray Tim & Denise Myers Bill & Sandi Nicholson Juan & Mary Olivarez Dale & Sonja Robertson Carol Rottman Margaret Ryan Peter & Joan Secchia Budge & Marilyn Sherwood Brent & Diane Slay Duke & Sue Suwyn Marilyn Titche Steven & Laura Triezenberg David & Carol Van Andel Steve Van Andel Cheri VanderWeide Michael & Michelle Van Dyke Gordon & Mary Van Harn Gordon & Margaret Van Wylen George & Dot Vande Woude Stuart & Nelleke Vander Heide David & Anne-Lise Whitescarver Scott & Rebecca Wierda Linda Zarzecki & Dr. Liam Sullivan *As of December 31, 2013 Andrew Keller Christina Keller Michael Lomonaco Alyssa Ludema Jennifer Maxson Casey McDonald Michael & Rachel Mraz Matt Osterhaven Andrew Robitaille Charles Rowerdink Lindsay Slagboom Jason & Kimberly Slaikeu Megan Spruit Joshua Stafford Alison Waske Nathaniel Wolf Megan Zubrickas *As of December 31, 2013 27

Publications by Year