Art Van Gives Away $1 Million to 50 Charities for 3rd Year in a Row

Mid Michigan Charities Awarded Grants Announced at Press Conference Today

Sep 13, 2011, 15:00 ET from Art Van Furniture

SAGINAW, Mich., Sept. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Art Van Furniture has built its business around families, and today, Michigan's largest retailer has awarded thousands of dollars to help Michigan families.  For the third year in a row, Art Van Furniture is giving away $1 million to 50 Michigan-based charities that focus on children, health and human services programs.  

It was announced today at a news conference in Saginaw that four Mid Michigan charities were awarded grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000.  The grants are designed as challenge gifts in order to encourage others to donate and maximize fundraising opportunities. In the past two years, the Art Van Million Dollar Charity Challenge has raised an impressive $7 million.

"Let's face it.  The state of the economy has not improved in Michigan," said Art Van Elslander, founder and chairman of Art Van Furniture.  "This has increased the demand on nonprofits, outpacing their ability to meet the demand.  The only way charities can operate effectively is with the help of the community.  It's our responsibility.  It is our duty."

More excitement was created at the event when the Bonus Challenge was announced.  In addition to the challenge awards, all 150 Art Van Million Dollar Charity Challenge recipients (this includes the 100 awardees from the past two years) can compete to win an additional $25,000, $15,000 or $10,000 bonus.

"We want to continue to make the dollars go further, and we wanted to do it in a way that would create fun and excitement," said Gary Van Elslander, president of Art Van Furniture.  "These awards will be granted to the top three charities that receive the most votes from the public." The public is encouraged to vote for their favorite charity during a two week period from September 15 to September 30 at

The Mid Michigan 2011 grant recipients are:

Midland County Child Protection Council, Inc.
Old  Newsboys of Flint, Inc.
Robert E. Weiss Advocacy Center for Children and Youth
Rose Hill Center, Inc.

The remaining grant recipients throughout Michigan will be announced at press conferences in Grand Rapids, Lansing and Traverse City tomorrow.  Metro Detroit charities were announced this morning.  The complete list of the 50 awardees will be posted on following the final event in Traverse City on Wednesday afternoon.

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 four freestanding Art Van PureSleep bedding stores in Canton, Troy, Rochester Hills, and Brighton, Michigan. Founded in 1959, the company is family-owned and headquartered in Warren, Mich. Check out for more information.

SOURCE Art Van Furniture