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2022 Spring/Summer Highlights of Hope

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


VAI PURPLE COMMUNITY VAI Marathon Team runners back in action at four global marathons With marathons around the world canceled, postponed or downsized in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Van Andel Institute Marathon Team runners also found themselves in a holding pattern. They were ready and excited to run a world-class marathon and raise funds in support of VAI’s research and education efforts, but many had to wait to put all that energy to good use. After two years of waiting and a smallerthan-usual number of runners in the 2021 races — the number of runners allowed in each race was capped as part of health and safety precautions — the VAI Marathon Team is coming back strong in 2022, with a limited number of complimentary entries to four races for runners fundraising on behalf of the Institute: • BMW Berlin Marathon: Sept. 25 • TCS London Marathon: Oct. 2 • Bank of America Chicago Marathon: Oct. 9 • TCS New York City Marathon: Nov. 6 Each year, dedicated runners train for these world-renowned races while raising funds for the Institute. They have each been touched by the diseases studied by VAI scientists (including cancer, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s and related dementias), whether through a loved one’s diagnosis or even their own. Each of them understands the incredible value of the Institute’s K–12 and graduate education programs that are training the next generation of scientific leaders. And each of them wants to do their part to make sure our efforts can continue to improve health and enhance lives for years to come. “Running a marathon is tough, and training for a marathon is grueling,” said former VAI Marathon Team member McKenzie Hollern Southerington. “But I ran for VAI because I knew I’d be helping bring hope to people who are fighting something much more difficult.” Did you know? In 2021, six athletes ran the New York City Marathon and 11 ran the Chicago Marathon. Comparatively, in 2019 — the last year these races were held prior to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions — nearly 40 athletes ran these two marathons on behalf of VAI. We look forward to being back at it in full force for both races (and more) this year! Entries for the 2022 Berlin Marathon are sold out. To learn more about the VAI Marathon Team and how to join, visit 28 | VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE HIGHLIGHTS OF HOPE

VAI Student Ambassador Program making moves Van Andel Institute’s Student Ambassador Program serves as a tangible reminder of the power and passion exuded by the younger generations. Twenty-eight students came together virtually at the beginning of the 2021–22 school year to form the program’s third cohort. These bright, driven students meet once a month throughout the school year to connect with Institute scientists, educators and staff and learn how their efforts make a concrete difference to VAI’s work. They also meet with Institute staff to explore topics such as crafting a communications plan to support a fundraiser and how to pursue support from business sponsors. VAI Student Ambassadors combine everything they learn in the program to launch a fundraiser on behalf of the Institute, with 100% of proceeds going directly to our research and education programs. They also receive exclusive mentorship from the Institute’s heart and soul: Carol Van Andel, executive director of The David and Carol Van Andel Family Foundation and wife of VAI Chairman and CEO David Van Andel. Our current Student Ambassadors are hard at work on their culminating fundraiser — a movie night at Celebration Cinema on March 5 featuring the highly anticipated film “The Batman,” with the goal of selling out the 330-seat movie theater. To learn more about the Student Ambassador Program, or if you know someone who may be interested in applying, visit Applications for the 2022–23 school year will open May 1, 2022. Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities Grand Rapids Griffins Purple Community Game (March 18) Volunteer Coffee and Catch Up (May 6 and Nov. 4) VAI Volunteer Celebration (Aug. 4) Weekly Volunteer Team (Wednesday mornings, 9–11 a.m.) Volunteer with VAI Van Andel Institute Purple Community is our grassroots fundraising program, bolstered by dedicated volunteers supporting VAI’s mission to improve health and enhance the lives of current and future generations. We have more than 50 active volunteers who support a variety of VAI events each year that raise critical funds in support of the Institute’s groundbreaking research into diseases like cancer and Parkinson’s, as well as our science education programs. VAI Purple Community volunteers support the Institute for a multitude of reasons. Some have been personally impacted by the diseases our scientists study or have a friend or family member who has been affected. Others want to help foster and encourage the next generation of scientific minds, and Van Andel Institute for Education and Van Andel Institute Graduate School do just that! With an average of nearly 40 community-led events per year, there are plenty of ways to get involved with VAI Purple Community, including: • Organizing and hosting an event • Volunteering at a VAI Purple Community event • Corporate partnerships • Becoming a VAI Student Ambassador To learn more about how you can get involved, visit or email Please note: Volunteer opportunities, especially for in-person events, are subject to change based on health and safety recommendations at the time of the event. (AT LEFT) 2019 BANK OF AMERICA CHICAGO MARATHON VAN ANDEL INSTITUTE HIGHLIGHTS OF HOPE | 29

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