Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Van Andel Arena Donates Gaither Christmas Homecoming Tickets To US Veterans

On Dec. 15, 2012, Van Andel Arena played host to the Gaither Christmas Homecoming Tour, featuring the award-winning Gaither Vocal Band with special guests crooning the best Christian-themed holiday carols.

But Van Andel Arena also played host to a few more special guests that evening.
Having reached out to the Veteran Tickets Foundation, the holidays were a perfect time for the Van Andel Arena staff to donate a night of fun and relaxation to veterans in the West Michigan area. Forty free tickets were designated to the organization and veterans from the Army, Air Force and Navy were all recipients of admission to the family-friendly show.

With the slogan “Give Something To Those Who Gave,” The Veteran Tickets Foundation is a non-profit, non-governmental organization aimed at expressing gratitude to veterans by working with venues and shows across the country to provide free tickets to great events.

Per the Veteran Tickets Foundation website, “When our Military and Veterans go to an event for free, we want them to feel a collective “thank you” from all of us to all of them.”

The foundation has been able to provide free tickets to NCAA Div. I basketball games, NFL games, Disney On Ice, comedy shows and concerts among many others. To date, the foundation has given out 509,382 tickets in all 50 states and Washington DC. More information can be found at

Van Andel Arena along with the Gaither Christmas Homecoming Tour were proud to offer local veterans a joyous evening.

But this wasn't the first time our staff helped make contributions to our heroes in service. Last summer, $5 from tickets sold to the July Trace Adkins performance at DeVos Performance Hall was pledged to The Wounded Warriors Project.

The Wounded Warriors Project raises awareness and enlists the public's aid for the needs of injured service members.

In the end, these initiatives are the least we could do for their service. We hope to work with the Veteran Tickets Foundation and Wounded Warriors Project again whenever possible.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Generous Patrons Help Grant Wishes For Make-A-Wish Foundation Through “Round Up at The Rink”

Savor…Grand Rapids, Van Andel Arena’s exclusive food and beverage provider, teamed up with the Grand Rapids Griffins over the Thanksgiving weekend to raise money as part of a state-wide initiative headed by 14-year old Novi high School student, Ryan Rabinowitz. Van Andel Arena hosted the “Round Up at The Rink” event, where gracious Griffins hockey fans contributed by way of rounding up their concessions bills to the nearest dollar.

Together, West Michigan’s best hockey fans donated $624.18 to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, helping to grant wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions.

The whole idea for Round Up at The Rink was brought to our attention by Rabinowitz, who first worked with Make-A-Wish when he was in the fourth grade.  A longtime hockey player, Rabinowitz’s plan is to contact more than 100 arenas/rinks in Michigan and ask them to host a Round Up at The Rink event to help make wishes come true for children with life threatening medical conditions. Rabinowitz’s goal is to reach $5000 and help grant an entire wish.

The Griffins beat the Chicago Wolves on Friday, September 23 to extend their then-winning streak to seven games.  The game also hosted the Griffins’ annual Teddy Bear Toss, where fans brought new store-tagged teddy bears or stuffed animals to throw on the ice when the Griffins score their first goal. All stuffed animals were to go to Hug-A-Bears of Kent County. The Griffins also matched up against the Milwaukee Admirals two days later, losing the contest on Sunday, September 25.