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2018 Spring/Summer Highlights of Hope

  • Text
  • Hope
  • Institute
  • Diseases
  • Scientists
  • Michigan

PURPLE COMMUNITY NEVER

PURPLE COMMUNITY NEVER STOP GIVING BACK—SALLY SCHAAFSMA, PURPLE COMMUNITY CABINET VOLUNTEER CHAIR For Sally Schaafsma, volunteering isn't a hobby or an occasional activity; it’s a full-time job. When Sally retired from a successful career as a teacher and business woman, she knew she wanted to spend her days helping others, giving back to her community and making the world a better place. Today, Schaafsma volunteers with a number of Grand Rapids-based charities and organizations, including Van Andel Institute’s (VAI) Purple Community. “I call myself a community volunteer, and I have always wanted to use my skills and abilities to help—wherever I could,” Schaafsma said. “It's important to support scientists and organizations who are doing research that will help find new therapies and, ultimately, cures for these diseases.” - Sally Schaafsma Working alongside Purple Community associates, interns and other volunteers, Schaafsma uses her organizational skills and leadership abilities to help the team prepare for the many grassroots fundraising events they organize throughout the year. As the Purple Community Cabinet volunteer chair, Sally also has the opportunity to share her professional work experience and mentor the team’s junior volunteers and interns. “One of my favorite aspects of volunteering with Purple Community is working with people from all different age groups, and in particular with the younger people just starting their careers—I feel like I can really help them and share the knowledge that comes from my years of experience,” Schaafsma said. “It really gives me a great feeling to work with so many wonderful young people.” The Institute’s mission and work in biomedical research and science education drew Schaafsma to volunteer with Purple Community. “Like so many people, my family has been directly affected by the diseases VAI studies,” Schaafsma said. “It’s important to support scientists and organizations who are doing research that will help find new therapies and, ultimately, cures for these diseases. I love having the opportunity to share information about the Institute’s work with people at Purple Community events, and it’s even better when we get new people involved in our mission.” SALLY SCHAAFSMA Schaafsma believes volunteering is one of the most meaningful things a person can do with their time, and she hopes others will join her in helping build the Purple Community volunteer program. “There are so many ways to volunteer,” Schaafsma said. “Everyone has skills they can give to an organization, whether it’s behind the scenes or working with the public. Every one of us can help our communities and the causes we believe in.” For information on how you can join Sally and volunteer with Purple Community, contact purplecommunity@vai.org. 20 | VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE HIGHLIGHTS OF HOPE

PHILANTHROPY A LEGACY OF GENEROSITY—ALVIN AND HYLDA TUUK Alvin and Hylda Tuuk believed in the American dream. Second generation Dutch immigrants, they met and married after Al served his country in World War II. Together, they raised a family, started a successful business and later became examples of the American dream in the West Michigan community. People of modest means, the couple’s drive for a better life was shaped equally by the Great Depression and the experiences they lived through during World War II. They worked hard and instilled in their four children the value of education, the power of American capitalism and the importance of charitable giving. In 1985, Hylda lost Al to prostate cancer before they had the chance to enjoy their golden years. Committed to making a difference, she arranged to give a portion of her estate to fund research that could give hope to people facing this difficult disease. In February 2017, Hylda passed away at the age of 93. She left a generous planned gift that will benefit prostate cancer research pilot studies in the laboratories of Dr. Xiaohong Li and Dr. Bart Williams. “Growing up and living for much of their lives in West Michigan, both my parents were impressed by the business success and the generous spirit of the Van Andel family. My siblings and I were proud to make a gift to benefit the Institute’s cancer research on their behalf,” said Hylda and Al’s daughter, Mary Tuuk, vice president and chief compliance officer at Meijer. “Van Andel Institute has been an incredibly positive force both in the health science community and the community as a whole. It has been a tremendous catalyst for growth in the region while making an impact on a global scale. It is heartwarming to know that our gift will go directly to fund important research being conducted right here in Grand Rapids.” “It is heartwarming to know that our gift will go directly to fund important research being conducted right here in Grand Rapids.” - Mary Tuuk In recognition of Alvin and Hylda Tuuk’s legacy of generosity, they were posthumously inducted as members of Van Andel Institute’s (VAI) Society of Hope. The Society of Hope recognizes individuals who have notified us they are including VAI in their will or other deferred giving plan. The Tuuks’ spirit of purposeful giving will live on in the work of the Institute’s scientists and the impact they have on improving the health of current and future generations. Interested in learning more about the Society of Hope and planned giving at VAI? Visit vai.org/society-hope or vai.org/plannedgiving or contact teresa.reid@vai.org. THE TUUK FAMILY VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE HIGHLIGHTS OF HOPE | 21

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