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Event Galleries

2024 Board of Governors Annual Dinner

The 2024 Van Andel Institute Board of Governors Annual Dinner brought together the Institute’s most generous, committed, and passionate supporters for an inside look at VAI’s research and education initiatives.

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VAI Public Lecture Series: When Good Proteins Go Bad — Pathology in Parkinson's Disease

At VAI's Public Lecture Series: When Good Proteins Go Bad — Pathology in Parkinson's Disease, Dr. Michael Henderson gave an in-depth primer on Parkinson’s and proteins, and how this knowledge may inform improved strategies for slowing or stopping disease progression.

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2024 Carol Van Andel Angel of Excellence Award

The Carol Van Andel Angel of Excellence Award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated a strong commitment to Van Andel Institute’s mission through volunteer service and philanthropy. This award celebrates the extraordinary efforts of philanthropists, volunteers and advocates, whose undeniable generosity and determination support the Institute’s ability to improve the health and enhance the lives of current and future generations.

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Art for a Cure

The Van Andel Institute's Student Ambassadors hosted Art for a Cure! The event combined science, education, and art to raise funds, supporting research into diseases like cancer and Parkinson’s while providing valuable learning experiences in marketing and event planning.

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12th annual Grand Rapids Griffins Purple Community Game

Van Andel Institute celebrated the 12th annual Grand Rapids Griffins Purple Community Game at Van Andel Arena.

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19th Annual Winterfest Celebration

Guests stepped away from the West Michigan chills and stepped into the warmth of Van Andel Institute’s 19th annual Winterfest Celebration, which returned to Cascade Hills Country Club on Thursday, Feb. 2 to support Parkinson’s disease research.

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VAI Public Lecture Series: Environmental Impacts on Health

At VAI's Public Lecture Series: Environmental Impacts on Health, WOODTV 8’s Maranda and an expert panel of Van Andel Institute scientists sat down for a conversation on the latest research into health and environment.

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A Conversation About Fueling Metabolism Hosted by Carol Van Andel

At the 2023 Conversation About Fueling Metabolism Hosted by Carol Van Andel, Dr. Sara Nowinski gave a crash course in how metabolism fuels our day-to-day lives, how problems with metabolism contribute to disease, and how there is more to mitochondria than what we learned in science class.

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23rd Annual Hope on the Hill Gala

Van Andel Institute’s 23rd annual Hope on the Hill - Under the Sea went to the blue depths of the ocean floor, where guests enjoyed an exquisite selection of food and drinks. The event also featured a live performance from classical singing sensation Victory Brinker — Guinness World Record’s Youngest Opera Singer and finalist on “America’s Got Talent.”

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2023 Couture for a Cure

Co-hosts Carol Van Andel and Rebecca Wierda invited guests to join them for the 18th annual Couture for a Cure — an evening full of fashion, fun and philanthropy in support of Van Andel Institute’s mission!

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16th Annual VAI Golf Outing

On Sept. 18 the sixteenth annual Van Andel Institute Golf Outing took place at Wuskowhan Players Club.

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Classrooms Reimagined: How VAI is Preparing the Next Generation of Scientists

Classrooms Reimagined, hosted by Van Andel Institute for Education, unveiled the latest advancements in education and how our organization is revolutionizing the K–12 learning landscap

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Railside Purple Community Ladies Golf Event

The Railside Purple Community Ladies Golf Event featured a nine-hole scramble including dinner, VAI guest speaker, raffle, and other fun opportunities to support the work at VAI!

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2023 Pure Barre on the Blue Bridge

The 10th anniversary of Pure Barre on the Blue Bridge brought a unique Pure Barre class taught by world-class instructors to the Grand Rapids’ iconic Blue Bridge.

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2023 Public Lecture Series: Parkinson's Update

VAI’s Dr. Darren Moore and Dr. Laurent Roybon provided an update on the latest Parkinson’s research at the 2023 Parkinson’s Update: What’s new? What’s next?.

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Curiosity Hour 2023: Out of this World

These young scientists blasted off into a world of science, discovery, and incredible animals with Van Andel Institute for Education at Curiosity Hour 2023: Out of This World!

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2023 Mini on the Mack

MINI on the Mack brings together thousands of MINI Cooper owners to break world records, experience a unique trip across the Mackinac Bridge, and raise money for a worthwhile cause. Fundraising efforts go further: every dollar raised goes directly to the cause — you read that right, 100% goes to research, discovery and hope.

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2023 JBoard Member Mixer

On July 19th, invitees connected with Grand Rapids’ top young professionals at Van Andel Institute’s JBoard Member Mixer! A few VAI postdoctoral fellows and educators were also there to mix and mingle and share their experiences and insights into the institute's current work.

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2023 VAI Open — Pickleball Charity Event

The 2023 VAI Open invited teams to compete in a Pickleball Charity tournament on the rooftop of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, along with an exclusive dinner and auction at MDRD.

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2023 Fash Forward

2023 Fash Forward brought world-renowned Italian brand Max Mara to Grand Rapids for a one-of-a-kind fashion experience. This intimate gathering featured a lunch at Van Andel Institute, followed by a runway show featuring Max Mara’s Spring/Summer 2023 Collection.

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2023 Board of Governors Annual Dinner

The Van Andel Institute Board of Governors Annual Dinner brought together the Institute’s most ardent and generous supporters for an evening focused on elevating VAI’s mission.

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2023 Around the World

Van Andel Institute’s 12th annual Around the World officially kicked off summer! Hosted by VAI’s JBoard Ambassadors, Around the World features curated selections from artisan wineries, bringing you the finest tastes from Michigan and beyond. Pair your glass with a variety of offerings from local food trucks and enjoy live entertainment throughout the evening.

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2023 Carol Van Andel Angel of Excellence Award

The Carol Van Andel Angel of Excellence Award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated a strong commitment to Van Andel Institute’s mission through volunteer service and philanthropy. This award celebrates the extraordinary efforts of philanthropists, volunteers and advocates, whose undeniable generosity and determination support the Institute’s ability to improve the health and enhance the lives of current and future generations.

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2022 Hope on the Hill

Van Andel Institute's 22nd annual Hope on the Hill Gala, was a sweet celebration. Guests were treated to a seated dinner full of delectable cuisine and artisan drinks, world-class entertainment by actor, magician and improv artist Michael Carbonaro, star and executive producer of the truTV series “The Carbonaro Effect,” a silent auction and more!

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2022 Couture For a Cure

Carol Van Andel, Rebecca Wierda and Kelli Templeton invited guests to join them for the 17th annual Couture for a Cure — an evening full of fashion, fun and philanthropy in support of Van Andel Institute’s mission!

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Design & Discovery 2022

Hosted by Haworth and Van Andel Institute, Design & Discovery is an event that merges the inspiration of modernist furniture design with the elegant shapes and colors of contemporary fashion.

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Around the World 2022

Van Andel Institute’s 11th annual Around the World officially kicked off summer! Guests enjoyed a fantastic tasting menu, featuring selections from artisan wineries and some of Michigan’s best craft beer purveyors, while sampling globally influenced small plates and appetizers.

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The Carol Van Andel Angel of Excellence Awards

The Carol Van Andel Angel of Excellence Award is presented to individuals who have demonstrated a strong commitment to Van Andel Institute’s mission through volunteer service and philanthropy. This award celebrates the extraordinary efforts of philanthropists, volunteers and advocates, whose undeniable generosity and determination support the Institute’s ability to improve the health and enhance the lives of current and future generations.

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16th annual Couture for a Cure

Carol Van Andel, Rebecca Wierda and Candace Matthews invited guests to join them for the 16th annual Couture for a Cure — an evening full of fashion, fun and philanthropy in support of Van Andel Institute’s mission!

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2021 Design & Discovery

Haworth and Van Andel Institute hosted Design & Discovery on June 17, 2021. Merging the inspiration of modernist furniture design with the elegant shapes and colors of contemporary fashion, Design & Discovery excited guests’ imaginations and showcased the power of the creative spirit. This exclusive event took place outdoors at the legendary Haworth headquarters and showroom in Holland, Michigan, and featured a runway show by Leigh’s out on the lawn, an exclusive display of Ferrari sportscars, hors d’oeuvres, artisan cocktails and complimentary swag bags from Leigh’s.

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21st annual Hope on the Hill Gala

Van Andel Institute’s 21st annual Hope on the Hill Gala featured a seated dinner full of delectable cuisine and artisan cocktails, live entertainment, and more! All proceeds benefit biomedical research and K–12 and graduate education programs at the Institute. It was an especially exciting night for us, as we celebrated our beloved Institute’s 25th anniversary.

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14th annual VAI Golf Outing

On Sept. 13 the fourteenth annual Van Andel Institute Golf Outing took place at Wuskowhan Players Club.

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A Conversation About Depression Hosted by Carol Van Andel

A Conversation About Depression hosted by Carol Van Andel in 2020 focused on leading advances in depression research. Attendees learned about treatment options, patient care and how to help a friend or family member with depression. The event featured local experts VAI’s Dr. Lena Brundin, Pine Rest’s Dr. Eric Achtyes and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital’s Dr. Elizabeth Kowal.

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Board of Governors Virtual Event

Van Andel Institute’s Board of Governors Annual Dinner went virtual for 2020! While this year we were not able to be together in person, we still had a wonderful, virtual evening to honor those who demonstrate incredible dedication and generous support for the Institute’s mission!

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2020 Virtual Curiosity Hour

Van Andel Institute for Education hosted a virtual event full of science demonstrations that were fun to watch and recreated by participants at home. Our team’s fun-loving spirit and mad science skills made for an evening to remember. And the best part was finishing up the hour with an edible science experiment — a complimentary pizza from Amore Trattoria.

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17th Annual Winterfest Celebration

Winterfest supports Parkinson’s research through an evening of delicious food, delectable wine and cocktails, and and a collection of amazing packages during the auction. All proceeds from Winterfest benefit our team of incredible scientists here in West Michigan.

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A Conversation About Metabolism and Nutrition Hosted by Carol Van Andel

A Conversation About Metabolism and Nutrition Hosted by Carol Van Andel in 2019 spotlighted the Institute’s exciting research into metabolism’s role in health and diseases like cancer, Parkinson’s and diabetes. The event featured talks from VAI’s Dr. Rusty Jones and Dr. Connie Krawczyk.

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2019 Around the World

Van Andel Institute’s JBoard Ambassadors hosted the 9th Annual Around the World® on June 1, 2019. The event featured an impressive tasting menu of selections from artisan wineries and some of Michigan’s best craft beer purveyors, along with globally-influenced small plates and appetizers. All proceeds from Around the World support Van Andel Education Institute’s science education initiatives.

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A Conversation About Pediatric Cancer Research and Treatment 2018

Guests heard from Dr. Matt Steensma, who conducts research at the Institute and treats patients at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, and Dr. Jenna Gedminas, a clinical pediatric hematology/oncology fellow at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and research fellow in the lab of Dr. Patrick Grohar at the Institute. Dr. James Fahner, Division Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, will give the keynote address.

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A Conversation About Osteoporosis 2017

A Conversation About Osteoporosis hosted by Carol Van Andel focused on current osteoporosis research and information on how individuals can be their own healthcare advocate. During the event guests heard from VAI’s Dr. Bart Williams and Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital’s Dr. Michael Jakubowski, along with a keynote address from the Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Sundeep Khosla.

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