October 08, 2009 06:43 ET

Recipients of the Art Van Million Dollar Charity Challenge Honored by Art Van Elslander

Reception Culminated in Yearlong Celebration of Art Van Furniture's 50th Anniversary

LANSING, MI--(Marketwire - October 8, 2009) - The 50 recipients of the Art Van Million Dollar Charity Challenge were honored this evening at a Gala reception filled with entertainment, intrigue, and fun. The reception was the culmination of a yearlong celebration in honor of Art Van Furniture's 50th Anniversary.

Festivities included performances by seven-time Grammy Award-winning singer Vickie Winans, cirque troupe Il Circo, and the Simone Vitale Band. In addition, attendees enjoyed a strolling supper.

Kim A. Wilcox, Michigan State University's (MSU) provost and vice president for academic affairs, and Dr. Fitzgerald, associate provost for University Outreach and Engagement, were in attendance, among other MSU dignitaries.

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero was a featured speaker and numerous state legislators were in attendance. Art Van Elslander was the Host. In all, 250 attended.

The Art Van Million Dollar Charity Challenge kicked off anniversary celebrations earlier this year by embarking on a mission to distribute $1 million in 50 hours to 50 non-profit organizations throughout Michigan. The $1 million is funding 50 grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 for children, health and human services programs.

"We are extremely pleased to be able to help these deserving Michigan charities," said Art Van Elslander, Founder and Chairman of Art Van Furniture. "I believe it is our responsibility to give back to the community, especially when you're fortunate to be as successful as we've been for five decades."

In addition to the Art Van Million Dollar Charity Challenge, other charitable programs that were part of the yearlong 50th Anniversary celebration include donations to schools across the state, 500 mattresses to shelters, and 50 bedroom suites to chronically ill children.

Formal Galas were previously held at the Warren Art Van showroom on October 1 and the Flint showroom on October 4. A final Gala will be held at the Grand Rapids showroom on October 28.

The Gala reception was held at the Lansing Art Van showroom from 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm, October 7.

About Art Van Furniture

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Art Van Furniture is Michigan's largest furniture retailer and America's largest independent furniture retailer, operating 31 stores in 29 communities throughout Michigan, a full service e-commerce website plus a new freestanding bedding store in Canton, Michigan, Art Van Pure Sleep. The company is family owned and headquartered in Warren, Michigan. For more information, visit www.artvan.com.

Gala photos are available at www.artvanmedia.com, User ID: Gala, Password: 50years2009.

Contact Information

    Diane Charles
    Director of Corporate Communications
    Art Van Furniture
    Email Contact