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

Lansing-area Charities Awarded Grants Announced at Press Conference Today

Sep 14, 2011, 10:00 ET from Art Van Furniture

LANSING, Mich., Sept. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In the 52 year history of Art Van Furniture, the primary customers have always been women.  Today, Michigan's largest retailer has awarded thousands of dollars to help several Lansing-area charities that specifically target women in need.  For the third year in a row, Art Van Furniture is giving away $1 million to 50 Michigan-based charities that not only help women, but also focus on children, health and human services programs as well.  

It was announced today at a news conference in Lansing that six local 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.

"So many women find themselves in unfortunate situations where they need a hand up," said Art Van Elslander, founder and chairman of Art Van Furniture.  "Luckily there are a number of charities with missions to help these women.  There is also currently an increase in the demand for these nonprofits and others that outpace their ability to meet the demand.  The only way charities can operate effectively is with the help of the community.  It's our responsibility to help."

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 Lansing 2011 grant recipients are:

Girls on the Run of Southeastern Michigan
Greater Lansing Housing Coalition
Hannah's House
Haven House
North Star Reach
Women's Caring Program

The complete list of the 50 awardees will be posted on following the final event in Traverse City this 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