Art Van Furniture Announces $1 Million Charity Challenge to Benefit Michigan’s Children

50 Grants Celebrating 50 Years

WARREN, Mich., May 26, 2009 – In honor of its 50th anniversary, Art Van Furniture has committed to supporting Michigan-based children, health and human services programs by providing $1 million to fund 50 grants ranging from $5,000 to $50,000.

Art Van will design the grants as Challenge Gifts in order to encourage others to donate and maximize fundraising opportunities. To be eligible for a grant, an organization must be recognized as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) and not be a private foundation. Organizations must also submit to a financial audit by an independent, certified public accountant, and not discriminate based on age, race, creed, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation or ethnicity, in policy or in practice.

Interested organizations must submit a grant application through the Art Van web site at Grant applications are due by midnight on June 30, 2009, and the winners will be announced July 31, 2009. For online application form questions, call 586-983-2050.

Art Van Elslander, founder of the furniture retailer, has made giving back a priority since the first Art Van Furniture store opened in 1959. His generosity has earned him honors such as Greater Detroit Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year, the University of Detroit Mercy President’s Medallion Award and the Detroit News Michiganian of the Year.

“It is our honor to give back to communities and charities across our great state of Michigan that have supported Art Van Furniture over the past 50 years,” said Art Van Founder Art Van Elslander. “The $1 Million Charity Challenge will benefit 50 remarkable and deserving organizations to help them continue their work and improve the lives of people across our state. We encourage all eligible charities to apply for a grant.”

Those not eligible for the grant program include: individuals, private foundations or endowment funds, religious organizations, political activities, parties or candidates, veteran organizations, fraternal or labor organizations, courtesy advertising program books and yearbooks, entertainment events, scholarships or conferences, sporting events or teams, and travel groups or tours.

About Art Van Furniture
Art Van Furniture is Michigan’s largest furniture retailer and America’s largest independent furniture retailer, operating 30 stores in 29 communities throughout Michigan.