Van Andel Institute (VAI) is an independent biomedical research and science education organization committed to improving the health and enhancing the lives of current and future generations. Established by Jay and Betty Van Andel in 1996 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, VAI has grown into a premiere research and educational institution that supports the work of more than 360 scientists, educators and staff.
Purple Community, Van Andel Institute’s grassroots fundraising and awareness program, connects individuals, schools, teams and businesses to the resources needed to support groundbreaking cancer and Parkinson’s disease research. Since the program began in 2009, Purple Community events have raised over $3.2 million for Van Andel Institute.
Purple Community events bring people from every walk of life together to celebrate the power of family, friendship and community action. They also give people the chance to honor those fighting disease and pay tribute to those who have lost their fight against cancer and Parkinson’s. Every event is a collection of stories — people coming together to support one another and help make the world a better, healthier place.
When you fundraise through Purple Community, your efforts go further. Thanks to a generous endowment from Jay and Betty Van Andel, every dollar of every donation goes directly to the cause — 100% of your funds support Van Andel Institute scientists who are studying more than 20 different diseases, including:
Lewy Body Dementia
Neurofibromatosis type 1