October 27, 2022  |  6:00 pm  -  11:00 pm

Hope on the Hill and the Chocolate Factory

Sponsorship Commitment Sponsorship Benefits Sponsorship Impact

Join Van Andel Institute for the 22nd annual Hope on the Hill Gala, and help us find the golden ticket against Parkinson’s, cancer and more of the most elusive diseases threatening human health today.

Hope on the Hill and the Chocolate Factory will be a sweet celebration of the heroes who, year after year, help make great strides at the Institute: our donors, our community, and the scientists and educators they support.

This whimsical evening will feature a seated dinner full of delectable cuisine and artisan drinks — Gobstopper Gimlets, anyone? Or perhaps a Chocolate River Cocktail instead!

Guests will also be treated to world-class entertainment by magician, comedian and recent Critics’ Choice nominee Justin Willman, as well as a silent auction, a paddle raise and more! All proceeds benefit biomedical research and K–12 and graduate education programs at the Institute.

Complimentary valet available at the main entrance.

Please note: Van Andel Institute continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation and adjust our event plans as needed. To keep everyone as safe as possible, proof of vaccination (printed vaccination card or digital version) OR proof of a negative rapid test (day of event) will be required for guests at this event. Due to the currently high level of community transmission, all guests may want to consider conducting a rapid test the day of the event. Masks will be available but are optional.

Magician/Comedian and recent Critics’ Choice nominee Justin Willman has cemented himself as one of today’s most prolific entertainers.

In 2018, Willman premiered his six-episode magic series on Netflix entitled Magic For Humans with Justin Willman. In the series, Willman brings his skills as a magician to the strange and misunderstood subcultures of America, while incorporating his disarming demeanor into street magic and social experiments that will boggle the mind.

Upon premiering, the show instantly became one of the most streamed shows on Netflix with clips from the show garnering over 150 million views to date across social media, even sparking a viral meme.

Indiewire called Willman the “perfect magician/hybrid prototype with incredible comedic timing,” and Rotten Tomatoes currently has the show listed at an 75% audience approval.  Magic For Humans is currently streaming seasons 1-3 on Netflix.

In 2018, Willman had a residency aptly called “The Magic Show” at the historic and swanky Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles. The Magic Show was an intimate performance in a hidden, unmarked theater inside the hotel and upon announcing the show, all shows sold-out almost immediately, well also attracting many of Hollywood’s most well-known names.

The L.A. Times exclaimed that Willman is, “A new breed of magician who’s making magic cool again for grown-ups.” Playboy Magazine dubbed him, “The freshest and funniest magician working today,” and Time Out hailed that his show, “Has to be seen to be disbelieved.”

In March 2020 as Covid spread across the globe, Willman debuted MAGIC FOR HUMANS @HOME, a virtual paid zoom show, which has since garnered an audience of over 500,000 people from around the world watching from the comfort of their living rooms.

His goal was to take everything fans love about his Netflix show and pack it into a hilarious hour of mind-blowing magic and mind reading. The show is highly produced, and features magic interaction with families throughout the show.

Prior to Magic for Humans, Willman was known for his multiple appearances on The Tonight ShowEllen and Conan. He also performed live at the White House for the Obama Family as well. His debut comedy/magic special Sleight of Mouth premiered on Comedy Central in 2015 to rave reviews.

Willman is also a consultant & writer for film/television productions like America’s Got TalentThe Goldbergs and Disney’s feature film Magic Camp.

Catch Justin on Netflix’s new show, Baking Impossible, which premiered October 6, 2021.

Justin was born in St. Louis, lives in Los Angeles, and does not own a rabbit.

“A new breed of magician who’s making magic cool again.” -Los Angeles Times

“Filled with magic tricks that will amaze, delight, and shock you in a way that’s sure to have your face sore from smiling.” -Decider

“His live show is a MUST SEE.” -Time Out

“A master of comedy and psychological manipulation…able to move his fans and skeptics on an emotional level.” -Digital Journal

“Like a magician, but cooler.” -USA Today

“The perfect magician/comedian hybrid.” -IndieWire

“Willman’s brand of magic is peppered with humor, designed to bring people together.” -TV Guide

“Wow. Just…WOW.” -Ellen Degeneres

Contact Sarah Rollman at 616.234.5712 or via email for more information.

Event Details

Venue: Van Andel Institute 333 Bostwick Ave. NE Grand Rapids

Thanks to our wonderful sponsors!





  • Dave & Jill Bielema

  • Eve Rogus & Paul Becker

  • Chuck & Christine Boelkins


  • Dan & Magee Gordon

  • Rob & Susan Stafford

  • Jim & Jane Zwiers


  • Gary & Vicky Ludema

  • Martin & Peggy Greydanus

  • Dr. Peter & Veronica Jones

  • Craig & Debra Kinney

  • The Steve & Amy Van Andel Foundation

  • Mike & Michelle Van Dyke


  • Ryan & Jessica Cook

  • Jana Hall

  • Blake & Mary Krueger

  • Kurt & Madelon Hassberger

  • Duke Suwyn

  • Dr. Steve & Laura Triezenberg

  • Dan & Ann Van Eerden

  • Dr. Bob & Grace Van Timmeren

  • Christian & Kara VerMeulen