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13 months ago

2018 Fall/Winter Highlights of Hope

  • Text
  • Andel
  • Institute
  • Highlights
  • Scientists
  • Suwyn
  • Michigan
  • Metabolism
  • Duncan
  • Cancers
  • Swaney

PURPLE COMMUNITY PURPLE

PURPLE COMMUNITY PURPLE COMMUNITY 5K — STRONG COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS MEAN MORE THAN A CHECK On a cool, spring Saturday morning, hundreds of people rallied together on the beautiful grounds of the Mary Free Bed YMCA in Grand Rapids for the annual Consumers Credit Union Purple Community 5K (PC5K). Enthusiastic runners, walkers and volunteers participated in a day of activism and fundraising in support of Van Andel Institute’s (VAI) research into cancer, Parkinson’s and other diseases. The event has grown from a small gathering in 2015 into one of West Michigan’s premier 5K races, thanks to an outpouring of community support and sponsors like Consumers Credit Union and the Mary Free Bed YMCA. Both organizations have built bridges between the Institute’s mission and the people they serve and helped spread Purple Community’s message of hope to spirited new audiences. Feet on the Ground Lynne Jarman-Johnson, chief marketing officer for Consumers Credit Union, views the organization’s title sponsorship of the PC5K as an extension of the company’s corporate values and community-focused business model. Jarman-Johnson’s contagious enthusiasm for giving back, and the efforts of Consumers Credit Union, have helped expand the PC5K’s reach and develop it into a day of exceptional engagement and fundraising. donations per day, but it’s important to her that the Consumers team can give more than just funds. “If we are going to back a cause, we aren’t just going to write a check, we need to have feet on the ground,” Jarman-Johnson said. “One of the many reasons we sponsor the Purple Community 5K is because there’s a connection between people and, for us, it’s important to have that face-to-face connection with our charitable giving partners and the people we serve.” Jarman-Johnson works with Stephanie Stacey, an office manager at one of Consumers’ West Michigan locations, to help organize their 5K team and get their staff involved. Working directly with Purple Community and her coworkers to support cancer research is incredibly meaningful for Stacey, whose mother recently became cancer free. “One of the many reasons we sponsor the Purple Community 5K is because there’s a connection between people and, for us, it’s important to have that face-to-face connection with our charitable giving partners and the people we serve.” - Lynne Jarman-Johnson “Right when I became involved with this “Since the beginning, helping our community has been part of our organization’s mission,” Jarman-Johnson said. “For us, it’s very personal — we are proud to be the title sponsor for this event and see it as a way to serve our Consumers family and our region as a whole. Giving back is part of our culture.” Jarman-Johnson receives more than 10 requests for event sponsorships and LYNNE JARMAN-JOHNSON 18 | VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE HIGHLIGHTS OF HOPE

think we can do more when we are working together.” By hosting the PC5K, the Mary Free Bed YMCA has given Purple Community members access to a beautiful course and top-tier facilities for the event and provided the Y’s members who have been impacted by cancer with a powerful way to connect and support one another. “Speaking through the lens of a husband who recently lost his wife to cancer, a framework of support is so critical, not only to those who are going through cancer treatment, but for those family members and friends who are there caring for them. This event is a way for us to come together as a community and say, ‘you’re not alone’,” Petr said. “I’ve always believed that people want to be involved with something that’s bigger than themselves, and I think the PC5K is an event that gives people that opportunity. It’s an event we are really proud to support.” If you are interested in getting involved with Purple Community, please contact Ashley Owen at ashley.owen@vai.org. PAUL PETR “Right when I became involved with this event, the fight against cancer became extremely personal because it came for my momma,” Stacey said. “Because of cancer research, my mom was able to use a new treatment that worked for her, and now, knock on wood, she is doing just fine. By supporting this event, I hope we can give these researchers everything that they need.” Healthy mind, body and spirit for all For Paul Petr, district executive director for the Mary Free Bed YMCA, working for the YMCA is not just a job, it’s a calling. The Y’s focus on the critical needs of the community and its roots in faith and human wellness are things Petr feels deeply passionate about. These values, integral to the Y’s mission, are some of the many reasons Petr believes the partnership with Purple Community is such a good fit. “Whether we are leading an initiative, convening an event or partnering with another organization, making our community healthier is one of our main goals,” Petr said. “I think our partnership with Purple Community is strong, and I (TOP) RUNNERS AT THE ANNUAL CONSUMERS CREDIT UNION PURPLE COMMUNITY 5K; CONSUMERS CREDIT UNION TEAM. VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE HIGHLIGHTS OF HOPE | 19

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