WARREN, Mich., June 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- A race to the finish! The spirited, five week competition among 120 Midwest nonprofits vying to win a portion of $375,000 in grants the 7th Annual Art Van Charity Challenge concluded on Monday, June 22 after shattering last year's fundraising tallies and garnering a staggering $2,222,483 in donations and grants. The first place winner of a $75,000 grant is Grace Centers of Hope in Pontiac, Michigan, an organization committed to positively changing the lives of the homeless, addicted and unwanted, which raised $188,858 during the competition. The participating charities in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio competed to raise the most money for their organizations between May 18 and June 22. The nonprofits, focusing on children, health care and human services, raised over $1 million more than in the previous year's challenge.
The other nine winning charities in the Top 10 receiving grants include: The Rainbow Connection in Rochester, Michigan (second place - $65,000), Friends for the Dearborn Animal Shelter in Dearborn, Michigan (third place - $55,000), Racquet Up Detroit in Detroit, Michigan (fourth place - $45,000), New Day Foundation for Families in Rochester, Michigan (fifth place - $30,000), ACCESS in Dearborn, Michigan (sixth place - $25,000), Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan in St. Clair Shores, Michigan (seventh place - $20,000), Jackson Chance Foundation in Chicago, Illinois (eighth place - $15,000), The Well of Mercy in Chicago, Illinois (ninth place - $10,000) and Cass Community Social Services in Detroit, Michigan (tenth place - $7,500).
Cindy Crawford, international supermodel, businesswoman, and philanthropist, served as the 2015 Art Van Charity Challenge ambassador.
"Thousands of individuals gave their time and money to support these exemplary nonprofits that go above and beyond to serve their communities," said Art Van Elslander, founder and chairman of Art Van Furniture. "Exceeding this year's goal of $2 million illustrates the depth of the generosity that exists in people's hearts."
All of the participating charities keep the funds raised during the competition. There were numerous bonus challenges during the five-week competition as well in which several nonprofits won bonus grants, Art Van Furniture gift cards, and other special prizes.
This is the seventh consecutive year that Art Van Furniture has made a substantial financial commitment to support the communities it serves through this pioneering philanthropic program. The Art Van Charity Challenge has now generated $22 million in donations and counting, donated over $7 million, and supports 261 charities. The competition is powered by CrowdRise.com, an online charitable fundraising site.
For additional information, visit artvancharitychallenge.com.
About Art Van Furniture
Art Van Furniture is the Midwest's largest furniture retailer and America's largest independent furniture retailer. The company operates 91 stores throughout Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, and Indiana, including freestanding Art Van PureSleep mattress stores, Art Van Flooring stores, and Art Van Furniture franchise locations as well as a full service e-commerce website. Founded in 1959, the company is family-owned and headquartered in Warren, Michigan. Visit artvan.com for more information.
SOURCE Art Van Furniture