Purple Community Blog

14 May 2018

The total is in … over $44,000 raised for cancer research at the Purple Community Griffins game!

It’s hard to believe the 7th annual Purple Community Grand Rapids Griffins game has already come and gone! While 2018’s festivities are over, they will certainly have a lasting impact — over $44,000 was raised for research at Van Andel Institute (VAI).

On March 2, thousands gathered at Van Andel Arena to cheer on the Griffins and to support research into cancer, Parkinson’s and other neurodegenerative diseases. The arena was filled to the brim with purple and passion for our mission!

We were honored to have Evan Beukema join us before the game for the puck drop. Evan is a former football player at South Christian High School and a cancer survivor. He was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at 20 years old. His battle with cancer was an inspiration for everyone that saw him on the ice.

The game featured fantastic intermission activities by WOTV 4 Women’s, Maranda, and as always, it’s so much fun to see the Purple Community purple van take the ice. After the game, there was a limited-edition Purple Community game jersey auction where Griffins fans excitedly bid on their favorite player’s jersey, eager to support VAI!


We are so thankful for this community that never ceases to support research happening right here in West Michigan. Thank you to the Grand Rapids Griffins, fans, and our awesome volunteers who made this night possible!