When you hear the name “Ken Evans,” you may think of Grand Rapids’ 105.3 Hot FM host and his morning show with Rachael Gray — but to Van Andel Institute’s (VAI) Purple Community, Ken Evans is known as one of our amazing advocates of VAI’s mission and a leader on our Purple Community (PC) Executive Cabinet.
“My first official involvement with Purple Community began in 2017 after attending a community mixer and becoming a member of the PC marketing subcommittee, although I have been privileged to work with VAI for various events dating back to the early 2000s,” Ken said.
“While awareness campaigns have flourished in the age of social and connected media, I’ve always been drawn to charities that do ‘real’ work. After watching my mother fight off two different types of cancer, but then succumb to the complications from her treatments, I realized that there is still so much to be done. The real work done at VAI is why I enjoy being a part of PC, it’s an opportunity to make sure that dollars raised are given directly to the men and women searching for cures and treatments for people like my mom.”
Ken is in his second year serving on our PC Executive Cabinet where he offers strategic vision and ideas to grow Purple Community’s reach. Ken says he’s “honored” to be involved on the Cabinet and loves the opportunity to join in the fight against diseases like cancer and Parkinson’s. Aside from serving in his leadership capacity, Ken sets an excellent example of giving back as a Purple Community volunteer. From handling the summer heat at Maranda’s Park Parties, to flawlessly sharing his story with event audiences at our Railside Golf Outing and annual Purple Community Celebration event, to the early morning efforts spent helping our Purple Community 5K run as smoothly as possible.
“One of my favorite volunteer experiences is the PC 5K. It’s one of our largest events and brings together so much of the local community. There are so many personal stories of hope at every single event we do, and that’s amplified by the size and scope of our PC 5K.”
Why does Ken choose to be involved with Purple Community?
“When I watched my mom fight her cancers, I felt powerless. Helping in my small way with Purple Community helps me take some of that power back, and gives me purpose in honoring her memory. It’s my hope that the work done at VAI will help those like my mom not only beat cancer, but live longer and healthier lives with their friends and families.”
We are grateful for you, Ken! Thank you for all you do to help spread HOPE!