Art Van Furniture Announces 3rd Annual Million Dollar Charity Challenge "Award Of Hope" Recipients

Award of Hope Salutes Five Individuals Statewide for Unwavering Commitment to Family and Community; Ceremony to Take Place on Thursday, May 16 at Novi Store

May 06, 2013, 07:57 ET from Art Van Furniture

WARREN, Mich., May 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- For the third consecutive year, Art Van Furniture will honor five Michigan residents with the Art Van Award of Hope as part of the company's Art Van Million Dollar Charity Challenge.  Art Van Elslander, founder and chairman of Art Van Furniture and one of the state's most prominent philanthropists, announced this year's recipients today. The honorees will be saluted during the 2013 "Award of Hope" event on Thursday, May 16 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Art Van Furniture store in Novi (27775 Novi Road).

The 2013 Award of Hope recipients are Cecilia Chesney (Executive Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwestern Michigan in Traverse City); Susie Saur, in memoriam, and Chuck Saur (Founders, Conductive Learning Centers in Grand Rapids); Susan Goodell (President and CEO, Forgotten Harvest in Oak Park); Sheilah P. Clay (President and CEO, Neighborhood Service Organization in Detroit); and Sheri Mark (Board President, North Star Reach headquartered in Ann Arbor).

"These five remarkable individuals speak to the very heart of the Art Van Million Dollar Charity Challenge and embody the spirit in which it was created," said Van Elslander. "It shows what is possible when we come together to serve the members of its communities and in the process make the world a better place."

The Art Van Million Dollar Charity Challenge has awarded grants from $5,000 to $50,000 to support 150 Michigan-based children, health and human services programs, donating more than $5 million dollars to statewide charities in five years. Through its challenge component, the program has raised $17.5 million since its inception in 2009.

Speakers at the Award of Hope event include Art Van Furniture CEO Kim Yost, and Art Van Furniture President Gary Van Elslander, along with the honorees and representatives from the 150 Art Van Charity Challenge recipients. Past recipients of the Art Van Million Dollar Charity Challenge will be present to receive additional grants. Guests will also enjoy hors d'oeuvres and entertainment.

Art Van Furniture is Michigan's largest furniture retailer and America's largest independent furniture retailer. The company operates 36 stores throughout Michigan, a full service e-commerce website, plus nine freestanding Art Van PureSleep bedding stores in Ann Arbor, Brighton, Canton, Kalamazoo,  Midland, New Hudson, Rochester Hills, Sterling Heights and Troy, Michigan. Founded in 1959, the company is family-owned and headquartered in Warren, Michigan. Visit for more information. Media can visit  

SOURCE Art Van Furniture