Nine Chicago Nonprofits To Receive Almost $400,000 In Donations And Grants Through The Art Van Million Dollar Charity Challenge!

Nigel Barker, internationally renowned photographer and television host, to cohost celebratory event and present grant checks to charities in Chicago on Wednesday, July 23

Jul 16, 2014, 10:50 ET from Art Van Furniture

WARREN, Mich., July 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- After a spirited, five week competition, pay day has arrived for nine deserving Chicago charities! Art Van Furniture will hand out nearly $200,000 in grant money to the winners in the sixth annual Art Van Million Dollar Charity Challenge "Challenge Grant Competition." On Wednesday, July 23 from 6 to 8 p.m., Nigel Barker, internationally renowned photographer, celebrity host of The Face on Oxygen Network and Art Van style maker, will emcee an event at Art Van Furniture (2606 N. Elston Avenue in Chicago) and present checks on behalf of the Midwest's No. 1 furniture and mattress retailer to some of Chicago's finest nonprofits.

Last month, 55 charities focusing on children, health care and human services in Illinois, Michigan, Ohio and Indiana competed to raise the most money for their organizations. Three of the top 10 winners are based in Chicago.

Starlight Children's Foundation Midwest, dedicated to improving the lives and health of seriously ill children and their families, was the first place winner and will receive a $75,000 grant from Art Van Furniture. Fifth place finisher, The Well of Mercy, which provides physical, emotional and spiritual support for mothers in need, will be presented with a check for $30,000. In seventh place, The Bleeding Disorders Alliance Illinois, an organization that improves the quality of life for persons with Hemophilia and similar inherited disorders, will receive a $20,000 grant. Six other participating Chicago nonprofits will be presented with checks as well. 

"Giving back to the outstanding charities dedicated to the health, welfare and betterment of their communities is the perfect way to toast our one year anniversary in Chicago," said Art Van Elslander, founder and chairman of Art Van Furniture. "There is more to come as we continue to make a positive impact on people's lives, and homes, in Chicago for many years." 

Art Van Furniture partnered with, an online fundraising site for charities, on the 2014 Art Van Million Dollar Charity Challenge "Challenge Grant Competition." A record was set during the five week pledge period for raising the most money during the last day, and the last hour, of any previous challenge on the Crowdwise website. Over $1.2 million was given back to the 55 competing charities through the challenge.

Since its inception, the Art Van Million Dollar Charity Challenge has awarded over $6 million in grants and inspired donations of more than $18 million. For a complete list of all 55 winning charities, visit

About Art Van Furniture
Art Van Furniture is the Midwest's largest furniture retailer and America's largest independent furniture retailer. The company operates 46 stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana, including six stores in Chicagoland, plus 38 freestanding Art Van PureSleep mattress stores in Michigan and Ohio, and a full service e-commerce website. Founded in 1959, the company is family-owned and headquartered in Warren, Michigan. Visit for more information. 

SOURCE Art Van Furniture