GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (ABC 4)- The Van Andel Institute Purple Community‘s mission is to connect “individuals, schools, teams, companies, and corporations, that want to join the fight against cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, to the resources needed for action.” 

On Oct. 18, this grassroots fundraising program held its 6th annual “Purple Community’s Leadership Lunch and Learn,” where students from four schools across Grand Rapids came together to learn more about the purple community and the positive impact their hosted events have made.

“We have an incredibly supportive community. We cannot thank them enough, and it really is something the community rallies around, so it’s a big deal for us, Holly McCaw, Director of Communications at Ostego Public Schools, said.

Many students and local educators are proud to be members of the Purple community and host events to promote the fundraising program and advocate for cancer research. In December, Grandville Middle School plans to host a student-driven basketball game where student ambassadors and members of the purple community will sell T-shirts and raise proceeds to help accelerate the speed of research and discovery at Van Andel Institute.

According to Van Andel Institute’s Fundraising and Events Coordinator Emily Umstead, the purple community raises $500,000 annually to support biomedical research and science education. 

“We take that money, and we put it directly into research for cancer, Parkinson’s, other neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases,” Emily said.

Learn more about the Van Andel Institute’s Purple Community here

Sponsored by the Van Andel Institute