FLINT, Mich., Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Art Van Furniture is putting the community back into community giving. For the second year in a row, the Michigan retail giant awarded one million dollars to 50 charities. But this year, they're inviting the public to decide which of the charities will receive an additional $25,000 bonus.
During an afternoon news conference in Flint, the Art Van Furniture leadership team announced the names of the Mid-Michigan charities receiving grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000. "The Art Van Million Dollar Charity Challenge was created last year to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Art Van Furniture," said Art Van Elslander, founder and chairman. "We decided to do it again because we recognize the need is as great as ever." The grants were designed as challenge gifts in order to encourage others to donate and maximize fundraising opportunities. The recipients are all Michigan-based nonprofits focused on children, health and human services programs.
There is a new twist to this year's challenge. The public will be able to decide which of these 50 charities is awarded additional money by voting online at www.artvan.com. Voting begins October 13 and runs through October 31, 2010. Allowing people to vote for one of the 50 charities will raise awareness about the services each of the 50 agencies provide. The charity with the most votes will receive an additional $25,000.
The 2009 Art Van Million Dollar Charity recipients were not left behind. All 50 winners from last year received an additional $5,000 this year as well! "We wanted to offer our continued support to our charity partners so that they can continue their great work," said Gary Van Elslander, Art Van President. Nearly 600 charities applied this year.
The Mid-Michigan grant recipients are:
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Child Abuse & Neglect Council of Saginaw County
Banbury Cross Therapeutic Equestrian Center
Nathan Weidner Children's Advocacy Center
Freedom Work Opportunities, Inc.
Whaley Children's Center
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Flint
Other recipients are being announced at press conferences in Warren, Grand Rapids, Petoskey and Lansing during a 50 hour tour of the state. The complete list of the 50 grant recipients will be posted on www.artvanmedia.com Wednesday afternoon following the final event in Lansing.
About Art Van Furniture
Art Van Furniture is Michigan's largest furniture retailer and America's largest independent furniture retailer. The company operates 34 stores in 33 communities throughout Michigan, a full service e-commerce website, plus three freestanding Art Van PureSleep bedding stores in Canton, Troy and Rochester Hills, Michigan. Founded in 1959, the company is family-owned and headquartered in Warren, Michigan.
SOURCE Art Van Furniture