Help us to spread awareness of Van Andel Institute (VAI) through Purple Community events!

We’re looking for motivated individuals to help us educate the community on what Purple Community is all about, be a listening ear to those who’d like to share their cancer or Parkinson’s stories, and be energized about joining the fight against cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

Whether you are someone living with cancer or Parkinson’s, have someone in your life that is, or just someone who cares about the mission of Van Andel Institute and what we are doing through Purple Community, we would be grateful for whatever time you have to offer.

Volunteer Registration

To sign up for an event or shift, please email Allyson.Huttenga@vai.org with the event name as the subject.            

Upcoming Opportunities












Jan. 2019

Friday–Sunday, February 2–4 – 2018 Michigan International Auto Show

Saturday, February 3 – CKC Series – Morgan Wallen

Wednesday, February 7 – Cornerstone University – Beltline Battles Cancer

Saturday & Sunday, February 10–11 – Southside Ice Arena Hockey Fights Cancer Weekend

Saturday, February 10 – Aquinas College Hockey Fights Cancer Game 

Monday, February 19 – Consumers Credit Union 2018 Employee Wellness Fair

Saturday, February 24 – CKC Series – Whiskey Myers

Friday, March 2 – Grand Rapids Griffins Purple Community Game (20 volunteers)

Friday, March 2 – CKC Series – Jordan Davis

Thursday, March 8 – CKC Series – Walker McGuire

Saturday, March 17 – Grand Rapids St Patrick’s Day Parade

Friday, April 27 – CKC Series – Russell Dickerson

Saturday, April 28 – Consumers Credit Union Purple Community 5K (50 + volunteers, details coming soon)

No opportunities are available at this time.

Friday & Saturday, June 1–2 – The Hard Cider Run

Saturday, June 2 – B93 Birthday Bash

No opportunities are available at this time.

No opportunities are available at this time.

September 13, 2018 – Pure Barre on the Blue Bridge 

No opportunities are available at this time.

No opportunities are available at this time.

No opportunities are available at this time.

No opportunities are available at this time.

We are always seeking volunteers for the following to enhance our program’s success in raising funds for research at Van Andel Institute!

  • Event support (third-party hosts and annual signature events)
  • Sharing the mission of Van Andel Institute and Purple Community
  • Supporting our cabinet subcommittees
  • Organizing inventory

For details on the ins and outs of our volunteer program, we encourage you to review our volunteer handbook below.                               

Volunteer Handbook 

Purple Community Angel

We appreciate all of our volunteers who dedicate their time and talents to Purple Community. Each quarter our Purple Community Team will highlight a volunteer who has gone above and beyond their call of duty.

Kathy Weglicki Purple CommunityCongratulations to our Purple Community Angel of the Quarter – Kathy Weglicki!

It would be difficult for someone to top the spunky spiritedness of Ms. Kathy Weglicki! Kathy has been a reliable volunteer season after season for Purple Community since she started in 2016. She brings tremendous energy to every event she attends and serves enthusiastically on both the Consumers Credit Union Purple Community 5K Planning Committee and as part of the Events Subcommittee for our Purple Community Cabinet.

As if that wasn’t enough, Kathy is also the founder of FEARLESS Flamingos, a cancer awareness group with over 200 passionate members who participate in various 5K races while striving to raise awareness and funds to combat cancer.

Kathy’s favorite aspect of volunteering with Purple Community is the people. “I have met so many wonderful volunteers and friends at VAI/PC that make volunteering something that I look forward to – each and every event.  Seeing people working for others, so selflessly, is amazing!”

We look forward to seeing YOU at each and every event you volunteer for Kathy. Thanks for your continued support of Van Andel Institute and Purple Community! We couldn’t do what we do without your efforts! Read more about Kathy on our blog.

Past Purple Community Angels

Q1 2017 – Sally Schaafsma

Q2 2017 – Alison Sheltrown

Q3 2017 – Daryl and Mary Mick

Q4 2017 – Brooke Galloway

Volunteer Feedback Form

We want to hear from you! How was your volunteer experience? Let us know what you liked and disliked. Please, share any suggestions you have for making the volunteer experience better in the future. Your feedback is anonymous.