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MEDIA RELEASE

CONTACT:
Cindy Ficorelli
Phone: (810) 606-6270
Fax: (810) 606-6279
caficorelli@genesys.org

09/21/2009

Art Van 50th anniversary celebration to benefit Genesys

(GENESEE COUNTY, MI) To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Art Van Furniture will throw a party with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Genesys for its Special Care Nursery expansion, and St. Mary's of Saginaw for a cancer transportation van.
The anniversary gala will take place Sunday, Oct. 4 beginning at 6 p.m., at the Art Van Furniture Flint store at G-4577 Miller Road.

The store will be transformed into an elegant fantasy complete with red carpet, a strolling supper and a live television broadcast by WJRT-ABC12. Entertainment includes live cirque performances by iLCIRCo, music by the Simone Vitale Band, and a special appearance by award-winning singer and songwriter Vickie Winans.

Art Van Elslander, chairman and founder of Art Van Furniture, personally chose Flint as one of three cities in Michigan for the 50th anniversary celebration. "I want to give back as much money as possible to the people of this community who have supported us since we opened our store in 1977," he reports. "When you're fortunate to be as successful as we have been for five decades, I believe it is our responsibility to give back to the hard-working customers who have done so much for us."

The success of the Flint store allowed Van Elslander to open two stores in Saginaw, one in Burton and one in Bay City.

Tickets for the anniversary celebration are priced at $125 (includes a VIP reception from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., and the gala event) and $100 (for the gala beginning at 7 p.m.). In addition to an evening of food, fun and entertainment, those attending will receive a custom box of Sanders chocolates, with one special box containing a "golden ticket" for a $2,500 spending spree at Art Van Furniture. Van Elslander will be at the event to meet his guests and thank them for their support through the years.

Mark Taylor, president and CEO of Genesys; and John Graham, president and CEO of St. Mary's; also will say a few words during a special program that begins at 7:30 p.m.

To purchase a ticket, call the Genesys Health Foundation at 810-606-6387, or go to www.genesyshealthfoundation.org.

Funds for Genesys raised from this event will go toward the expansion of the Special Care Nursery in the Genesys Family Birthing Center from a Level IIA to a Level IIB, which will give Genesys the capabilities to care for higher risk babies - those born at more than 32 weeks gestation and weighing more than 1500 grams, those needing mechanical ventilation, and those needing continuous positive airway pressure.

"Infant morbidity and mortality rates in Genesee County are among the highest in the nation," reports Nick Evans, vice president and chief development officer for the Genesys Health Foundation. "As birth rates continue to rise in our community, this translates into escalating high-risk pregnancies, deliveries and a growing need for services to help this population. A Level IIB Nursery is desperately needed," he points out.

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