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Wings, Van Andel Institute partner for Purple Community Hockey Fights Cancer Night

by Kevin Wilson / Detroit Red Wings

DETROIT – The Red Wings announced on Tuesday a partnership with Van Andel Institute’s Purple Community for Hockey Fights Cancer Night on October 26, when Detroit plays host to its Original Six foe, New York Rangers.

With this alliance, the Van Andel Institute, (VAI), and the Wings will take on the toughest of opponents: cancer. Through collaborative efforts, the Wings and VAI hope to raise awareness and funds to aid in defeating the disease.

“A partnership is a powerful thing, and a good partnership is based on the knowledge that there is strength in people coming together for a common goal,” said David Van Andel, chairman and CEO of VAI at a news conference in Grand Rapids to announce the partnership. “It is my pleasure to inform you that we have come together with the Red Wings in our fight against cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. On October 26, we are going to turn The Joe purple and host activities designed to spread our message of research, discovery, and hope.”

Established by Jay and Betty Van Andel in 1996, the VAI conducts biomedical research with a focus on cancer and Parkinson’s disease, putting a strong emphasis on translating scientific research results into clinical applications. The Purple Community, an internal subsidiary of VAI, gives supporters the opportunity to participate in a range of fundraisers and events throughout the state. One hundred percent of the funds raised through Purple Community events go toward research; all of VAI’s operating costs are paid for through an endowment.

The Red Wings’ organization is thrilled to bring VAI on board for Hockey Fights Cancer Night, part of the NHL and NHLPA’s Hockey Fights Cancer initiative founded in 1998.

“Connecting with the community has always been a high priority for the Red Wings, especially when it comes to battling cancer and disease,” said Tom Wilson, President and CEO of Olympia Entertainment. “Purple Community in particular is a great way to engage our fans and raise funds for an outstanding cause.”

Fans wishing to attend the game and support Purple Community fundraising efforts can purchase an upper-level seat for $100, a price that includes a donation to the VAI. Those who take advantage of this unique ticket offer will be invited to join cancer survivors on the ice post-game to form a human purple ribbon for a commemorative photo. The visual will provide a symbolic representation of unity that captures the commitment and dedication of the Purple Community.

Tickets for the game will go on sale this Saturday, August 24, and can be purchased by visiting and entering the promo code ‘PURPLE’.

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