WARREN, Mich., June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- In an exciting race to the finish, the 8th annual Art Van Charity Challenge raised a staggering $2,272,188 in just five weeks. A total of 147 charities across the Midwest vied for $300,000 in grants from Art Van Furniture. The first place winner of the $100,000 grant is Grace Centers of Hope from Pontiac, Michigan, an organization committed to positively changing the lives of the homeless, addicted and unwanted. Leveraging grants received from Art Van Furniture, Grace Centers of Hope raised and won a total of $500,000 in just over five weeks, to support their community programs.
In addition to $225,000 in prize grants, the Midwest's number one furniture and mattress retailer donated $94,000 in bonus grants, which were awarded to winning charities in special competitions throughout the program. Since the Art Van Charity Challenge launched in 2009, Art Van Furniture has donated more than $8 million and raised over $24 million for more than 350 charities who provide assistance to children, health care and human services.
This year's top charities are based in Michigan, Illinois and Indiana. Along with Grace Centers of Hope, the 2016 top charities receiving grants include:
Second Place - $50,000: The Power Company Kids Club, Pontiac, Mich. Raised $339,807
Third Place - $25,000: Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan, Grand Rapids, Mich. Raised $254,096
Fourth Place - $15,000: Benjamin's Hope, Holland, Mich. Raised $103,349
Fifth Place - $12,500: Cass Community Social Services, Detroit, Mich. Raised $96,653
Sixth Place - $10,000: The Jackson Chance Foundation, Chicago, Ill. Raised $82,631
Seventh Place - $5,000: Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County, Valparaiso, Ind. Raised $65,992
Eighth Place - $4,000: The Well of Mercy, Chicago, Ill. Raised $47,670
Ninth Place - $2,000: Southwest Solutions, Detroit, Mich. Raised $35,243
Tenth Place - $1,500: Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance, Chicago, Ill. Raised $34,230
"It is wonderful to see the generosity of so many in the past five weeks," said Art Van Elslander, founder and chairman of Art Van Furniture. "Every dollar given and hour spent supporting these groups will have a big impact on the work they do every day in our communities. The charities did a tremendous job during this year's program, and should be proud of their efforts."
All participating charities keep the funds they raised throughout the challenge. International supermodel, businesswoman and philanthropist Cindy Crawford is the Art Van Charity Challenge ambassador.
The Art Van Charity Challenge is powered annually by CrowdRise, an online charitable fundraising site. The Art Van Charity Challenge has raised more money than any other CrowdRise challenge in the Midwest. For more information, including a complete list of this year's participating charities from Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, please visit www.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 100 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.