A Man with a Cause Praised and Remembered … Brad Van Riper

The man in pink was a leader but more importantly to him, he was a follower.  He followed the journey of his Christian faith in all he did, which explains the many accolades bestowed upon him.  Bradley C. Van Riper died in early May after a courageous six-month battle with a rare cancer.  The same disease he had spent years of his life raising money to fight.   

While wearing pink, Brad represented LINKS Charity at The Pink Walk which was one of two fundraising events the charity supported to fight cancer through UPMC Chautauqua WCA.  For more than 10 years Van Riper represented Truck-Lite as the executive director of the LINKS Charity, a golf tournament that has donated $1,512,000 to the our hospital to fight the dreaded disease locally.  Leaders in the lighting industry, Truck-Lite, Van Riper and his corporate associates have led an army of volunteers to help the community in which they live setting themselves apart as philanthropic leaders as well.  Truck-Lite stepped into the lead of the established tournament created by Mary Blair of Lakewood and the late Sondra “Sandy” Anderson and Allen Short.  They appointed Brad as the executive director of the tournament that brings members of the Ladies Professional Golf Association to Jamestown to golf with a field of golfers from the area and around the world. 

Brad was very passionate about serving as the executive director of Links Charity which benefits care of cancer patients. He served more than 10 years in that capacity and discovered new ways to involve more people and to increase the donations.  Under his leadership, LINKS Charity initiated the LINKS Charity Cancer Care Fund – In Tribute to LINKS Charity Pioneers Sondra Anderson, Mary Blair and Allen Short.  The endowment fund at WCA Foundation is designated for the support of cancer diagnosis and treatment equipment and services provided by UPMC Chautauqua WCA.  The Van Riper family chose to have gifts in memory of Brad sent to this fund to continue his work fighting cancer – forever. 

LINKS Charity will honor Brad Van Riper on July 21 at the 7:05 p.m. Jamestown Jammers baseball game at Russ Diethrick Stadium.  The Pink the Park event will promote breast cancer awareness and honor the memory of one of our community’s fierce warriors against the disease. 

The 27th LINKS Charity Pro-Am Golf Scramble and Auction is July 30 and 31, 2018 at Moon Brook Country Club.  For more information about the event go to www.linkscharity.com or call Herb Hotchkiss, 716-661-1128, executive director of LINKS Charity  or Megan Barone, 716-664-8423, Director of Development at UPMC Chautauqua WCA and WCA Foundation.  To support the work of this charity event send contributions to LINKS Charity Pro-Am or the LINKS Charity Cancer Care Fund, UPMC Chautauqua WCA, c/o Development Department, P.O. Box 840, Jamestown, NY 14702-0840.    

As a veteran of the event and its cause, Brad Van Riper would tell you “at LINKS Charity everyone walks away a winner” – as did he.  

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