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Thank you to our sponsors and volunteers for making The Nutcracker Premiere Gala a success for Hospice of Michigan’s pediatric program and Grand Rapids Ballet.

Honorary Chairs

Susan Ford Bales, Maria DeVos, Governor Rick Snyder

Honorary Committee

Jim and Shirley Balk
Karl and Patti Betz
Ken and Judy Betz
Jeff and Margaret Beusse
Elizabeth Tinney Donley
Jim and Gail Fahner
Bill and Cecile Fehsenfeld
Tom and Mickie Fox
David and Rosemary Good

Tom and Marcia Haas
Mayor George and Susan Heartwell
Micahel and Susan Jandernoa
Jim and Amy Keane
Michael and Melissa Lojek
Mary Loupee
Jon and Carol Muth
Khan and Liza Nedd
Jim and Mary Nelson

John Nienhuis and Jerry Nardin
Peter and Carroll Perez
Paul and Marge Potter
Ellen Satterlee
James Schindler
Marilyn Titche
Art Van Elslander and Sarah Cuyler
David and Sue Van Elslander
Greg and Meg Willit

Grand Rapids Ballet and Hospice of Michigan are embarking on an exciting new partnership throughout 2014. Our two organizations are collaborating to bring the West Michigan community a premiere event celebrating a completely reimagined version of the beloved ballet The Nutcracker—and we invite you to be a part of this family holiday tradition.

Chris Van Allsburg

Set & Production Design

Chris Van Allsburg is one of America’s most innovative picture book creators. He has twice received the Caldecott Medal, for The Polar Express and for Jumanji, as well as a Caldecott Honor for his very first book, The Garden of Abdul Gasazi. He has also been awarded the Regina Medal for lifetime achievement in children’s literature, among other honors.

Eugene Lee

Set & Production Design

Eugene Lee received BFA degrees from the Art Institute of Chicago and Carnegie Mellon University, an MFA from Yale Drama School and three honorary doctorates. Mr. Lee has won Tony Awards for Bernstein’s Candide, Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, and Wicked, as well as the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design. He has been the production designer for NBC’s Saturday Night Live since 1974, and still is today. His most recent work to date was creating the new set for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Val Caniparoli


Val Caniparoli is one of the most sought after American choreographers contributing to the repertories of more than forty companies. As the resident choreographer of the San Francisco Ballet, he has received numerous grants and awards, choreographed operas, and often collaborates with the San Francisco Symphony.

Patricia Barker

GRB Artistic Director

Patricia Barker, former principal dancer with Pacific Northwest Ballet, is considered one of the world’s most gifted ballerinas. She stages works for the Balanchine Trust and was an artistic advisor for the Slovak National Ballet. Patricia also teaches and judges at international ballet competitions, serves on the board of several arts organizations, and has received numerous arts awards and civic recognitions.

Glenn Del Vecchio

GRB Executive Director

Executive Director Glenn Del Vecchio, enters his fifth season with the Grand Rapids Ballet. Prior to his appointment, Del Vecchio spent 20 years working with large for-profit companies. A results-oriented executive, Mr. Del Vecchio approaches the leadership of a non-profit arts organization by managing the intersections of artistic quality and best business practices. Bringing his expertise in strategic planning, business development, large-scale event and concert management, and marketing together to create a consensus-oriented management approach.

Mr. Del Vecchio was raised in Philadelphia and attended Millersville University in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He currently resides in East Grand Rapids with his wife Kirsten and two sons.

Grand Rapids Ballet

Celebrating its 43rd anniversary this season, the Grand Rapids Ballet remains committed to lifting the human spirit through the art of dance. A proud recipient of the ArtServe Michigan Governor’s Awards for Arts & Culture, Michigan’s only professional ballet company has a rich history marked by steady growth, a commitment to excellence, and strong community support.

Hospice of Michigan

Hospice of Michigan (HOM) offers a wide range of pediatric services to patients and families across the Lower Peninsula, including the Perinatal Program, Pediatric Early Care (PEC) Program, and Pediatric Hospice Program. These programs provide a dedicated, experienced team of pediatric-trained staff to care for seriously ill children and their families. The generosity of individual, corporate, and foundation donors allows HOM to provide specialized services to patients and families regardless of expense as part of our mission to serve everyone who needs and seeks our care.

Steering Committee

Underwriting Committee

Design Committee

Pat Waring
Jim Fahner
LeeAnn Clay

Steffany Dunker
Tom Sarb

Andy Holtgreive
Barbara Gerson
Christine Albertini
Dana Baldwin
Dave Dickens
Deb Bailey
Diane Mills
Donna Waltz-Jaskolski
Giselle Sholler
J. Lee Murphy

Jeff Muth
Joe Crawford
Joe Voss
John “Otis” Jackoboice
Luis Avila
Michael Damstra
Michael Kling
Patricia Waring
Paul T. Doyle
Sara Smolenski
Shirley Balk
Stephen Wert
Todd Hoppe

Anda Vizulis
Gail Fahner

Kate Betts
Steve Frykholm
Rebecca Lemon
Liza Nedd
Nancy Phillips
Linda Pierce