Purple Community Blog

5 Oct 2017

10 things we love about fall!


The sun is starting to set earlier, the temperatures are dropping and the colors are changing which means one thing — fall is here! If you can’t tell, all of us on the Purple Community team love fall. Why? Sit tight and read our top 10 reasons.

When the temperatures cool down, a sweater or sweatshirt becomes your new best friend. If you’re in need of a warm sweater, long-sleeve or winter hat, we have you covered! You can find these items on our online store, and the best part is a portion of the proceeds benefit Van Andel Institute (VAI)!

An event like none other! On September 14, we teamed up with the Grand Rapids and Grandville Pure Barre teams, as well as Grand Rapids Lolë to raise over $3,800 for cancer and Parkinson’s disease research at VAI! You can see all the Pure Barre on the Blue Bridge photos on our Facebook page.

West Michigan Woman’s Wine & Wig event is an amazing opportunity to support finding a cure for breast cancer, while also raising awareness for local resources — diagnostics, treatments and emotional support. Get your tickets for this fantastic event today and be sure to select Van Andel Institute when you check out.

Tailgates. Cheerleaders. Screaming Fans. Some of the key ingredients to a Purple Football game and we have plenty of them! Purple Games honor and remember those in our lives who have experienced cancer or Parkinson’s disease.

We recently teamed up with Hope College as their football team turned purple to raise funds for cancer research at VAI. At the game, we heard so many stories about individuals and families who have been impacted by cancer, but one family in particular shared a special moment with us.

Hope College senior Jake VanderVeen wore number 51 and played for his grandpa Jens “Flex” Bach. Jake’s grandpa was able to join his family and watch Jake play one last time — sadly, Grandpa Flex’s cancer journey ended on September 24. We were honored to have played a small part in helping Jake and his family create such a special memory, and a moment that they can cherish forever.

Running in the summer is way too hot, and who wants to run in the freezing winter temps? In the fall, the air is cool and the colors are changing making it the perfect time to get outdoors and explore the trails and parks near you. The change of seasons brings new experiences, new smells and new views, whether you live in a built-up urban area or the countryside. To make the most of this amazing season, register for one of our fall running events including the Barry County Purple Community 5K, Bee Brave 5K Run/Walk, TC Cares & Purple Community 5K Walk/Run, or join Purple Community’s Team Hope for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon!

Busy bees have been getting ready for the annual Bee Brave 5K! Bee Brave is more than just a few events that raise money for breast cancer research at VAI. Over the past 10 years, it has grown into a community of like-minded individuals who are passionate about 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. We hope you can join us for the 10th annual Bee Brave 5K this Saturday, October 7. Remember, this year’s race is at a new location — Shagbark Farms in Alaska, MI!

The Great Pumpkin Run was a fall lovers dream. Runners got to dash 3.1 miles through the crisp fall air, and after crossing the finish line, sip some apple cider while enjoying all the fun with friends! We had awesome volunteers who helped with packet pickup, course marshaling, water aids, and other race day needs. We’re thrilled to have received a $15 donation for every shift covered!  

Purple Community partners up with breweries and restaurants every year for our unique Hops for Hope program. When you visit any of the participating locations you can have a pint of their selected “give back beer.” For each give back beer sold $1 will be donated to VAI to fund cancer, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative disease research. Check out our list of partners here.

It’s that time of year when you’re shopping for school, warmer clothes and the holidays. Purple Community has two ways you can give back while doing your favorite activity!

  • We’ve teamed up with SpartanNash for their Direct Your Dollars program, and we need your help! Direct Your Dollars connects nonprofits and communities simply by shopping at your local SpartanNash store. Every time you shop at a store save your receipts and drop them off to the Purple Community team at our Direct Your Dollars drop-off locations. For every $150,000 we collect in receipts, SpartanNash will donate $1,000 towards cancer and Parkinson’s disease research happening at VAI.
  • Did you know when you’re shopping on Amazon you can give to your favorite charity? It’s easy! Shop through Amazon Smile and click Van Andel Institute as your charity of choice. Not only will you be getting a few things for yourself, but you’ll be supporting breast cancer research while you do it.

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect and show gratitude, and at Purple Community there is a lot to be thankful for. From our amazing volunteers, event hosts, and the scientists behind the research, we couldn’t be more blessed and hopeful for the future. We are truly grateful to everyone who is a part of Purple Community and the support you provide to us!