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Beth Westemeyer's Fundraiser:

Pink Ninjas

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EVENT: Bee Brave 5K 2017

Beth Westemeyer


Laura Gifford wrote -


Andy, Jack and I are once again raising money for breast cancer research. As most of you know I had breast cancer at 34.  Andy's grandmother, Nan, was also a breast cancer survivor. Now unfortunately a good friend and neighbor of ours, Melissa, is currently battling breast cancer.  We are raising money this year in honor of Melissa.  Our goal this year is to raise $1,000.  Please donate if you can, every dollar helps. Hopefully by the time our kids are adults cancer will be a thing of the past and we can all be a part of eradicating cancer by donating.  

Below is information on the Bee Brave 5k.  If you need any additional information please let me know, I would be happy to provide it.  

Bee Brave is more than just a few events throughout the year to raise money for local breast cancer research. Throughout the last nine years, it has grown to become a community of like minded individuals who are passionate about raising breast cancer awareness, supporting fighters, and honoring those whose battle has ended. It has become a haven of hope for those who need it, a home to share their courageous stories in, as well as a place to celebrate the victories and triumphs over breast cancer.

What makes Bee Brave unique?

Bee Brave is different because 100% of the money raised stays in Grand Rapids, Michigan! But that’s not all. Bee Brave is different because:

  • 100% of our events are organized by volunteers and supported by local business sponsors who are dedicated to finding a cure.
  • 100% of race registration goes directly to breast cancer research at Van Andel Institute.

Bee Brave raised $60,000 for breast cancer research in 2016 and that simply would not have been possible without the support of our local business sponsors and the volunteers who give countless hours to this cause. None of our incredible volunteer organizers receive a paycheck from Bee Brave because they would rather see every single dollar be used for research! 

 What is the Bee Brave 5K Run/Walk?
The Bee Brave 5K began in 2008 when Pat Ringnalda was inspired to become more proactive in raising money for breast cancer research. Since its inception, Bee Brave has raised over $325,000 for research!

Who benefits from the money raised from Bee Brave 5K?
Your race dollars stay LOCAL and ALL of it is used for research! That’s right … 100% of race registration and donations go directly to Van Andel Institute, where 100% of it is used to research better medicines and ultimately a cure for breast cancer.

Races are expensive … how is it possible that 100% of my race registration is used entirely for research?
Race expenses are covered 100% by our incredibly generous business sponsors! We invite you to visit our sponsor section and learn more about the amazing businesses who support the Bee Brave 5K.On top of having amazing local businesses who support our cause, we have a team of tireless volunteers who dedicate hours of their time throughout the year to organizing our Bee Brave events. We are proud to be 100% volunteer organized so that EVERY SINGLE DOLLAR can benefit research instead of someone’s paycheck.

Do I have to join a team or can I sign up as an individual?
Participants can sign up as a Team Captain, join an existing team, or register as an individual as a runner, walker or a virtual walker.

Is the Bee Brave 5K a timed race?
Yes—runners will be chip timed by Ignite Your Event. Individuals wishing to have their race timed should register as a runner regardless if they run or walk. **Please note that walkers are NOT timed** What is a Virtual Walker?
Virtual Walkers are people who would like to support our cause, but can not join us on race day. They are eligible to receive a race shirt and should let their team captain know what size they requested during registration. Please ask your Team Captain to pick up your shirt on race day. No shirts will be mailed.

Do you allow strollers and/or pets?
Yes! Both strollers and dogs on leashes are welcome to participate. 

Is my race registration or donation tax deductible?
Yes, Van Andel Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and contributions made to the Bee Brave 5K fall under its donations.

How do I invite people to register on my team or donate?
After registering, you will be given a Fundraising Page that you can personalize! From there, you can either use the template created by VAI to email friends or you can write your own. In addition, you can customize your URL settings of your personal page to share it directly on social media.

Are there awards?
Absolutely! Our award ceremony follows immediately after the race where medals are awarded to the top 3 finishers of each age group. In addition, top male and female runners receive $100 gift card to Gazelle Sports.

How do I earn one of those cool Team Buzz Jackets I saw?
Team Buzz Warriors are a group of elite fundraising volunteers who commit to raising $1,000 for Bee Brave 5K through registrations and donations to their team. If you would like to learn more or commit to becoming a Team Buzz Warrior, please email your commitment to with the subject line Team Buzz Warrior.

I still have questions, what do I do?
We want to answer your questions! Feel free to email and we’ll be happy to help. 

The Team: $1,352 TOTAL RAISED SO FAR

Fundraiser Title

Laura Gifford

Amount Raised


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Kristen Nonhof

Amount Raised


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Melissa VanKlompenburg

Amount Raised


Fundraiser Title

Grace Vaness

Amount Raised


Fundraiser Title

Beth Westemeyer

Amount Raised


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