Missy and George Sharpe Jr. have always gone the extra mile for Van Andel Institute (VAI) and now they’re going 26.2! George’s father, George Sharpe Sr., has been living with Parkinson’s disease for many years, which has motivated the Sharpe family to do everything in their power to take a stand against the disease. Through fundraising, hosting awareness events, participating in the Purple Community 5K, and now running a marathon, the Sharpe family is making an impact.
Purple Community was selected as an official charity partner of the 40th anniversary Bank of America Chicago Marathon taking place October 8. Each runner on Purple Community’s Team Hope has committed to raising at least $1,000 by race day. Already having each exceeded the $1,000 benchmark and collectively raising over $10,000, the Sharpe’s have truly blown us away!
The Sharpe Collection, the family’s luxury car dealership in Grand Rapids, has hosted multiple events allowing Purple Community to come spread awareness for the Institute. Purple Community was the charity partner for this year’s MINI on the Mack fundraiser that is presented by The Sharpe Collection (in an attempt to break a world record Mini Coopers lined the Mackinac Bridge). This year, the event raised over $15,000 to benefit Parkinson’s research at VAI.
The Sharpe family has also played a significant role in one of VAI’s signature events benefitting Parkinson’s research — Winterfest. George Jr. and Missy have sat on the Winterfest planning committee for the last several years and have evolved into being the event co-chairs.
Between raising their children, maintaining a family business, supporting VAI through fundraising events and now, training for a marathon, the Sharpe family’s passion is invaluable and we are incredibly honored by their dedication.
You can keep up with George Jr. and Missy’s fundraising progress for the marathon, as well as other motivated runners, through Team Hope’s online
fundraising page. There are only 11 days left until runners take their place at the starting line. We can’t wait to see everyone and cheer them on as they support Purple Community and VAI!