Four students from Forest Hills Central High School who raised more than $100,000 to benefit the Van Andel Institute's biomedical research and science education programs were recognized last week.

They received the second annual Carol Van Andel Angel of Excellence Award.

Bella Fiorenzo, Mariah Otolski, Sydney Vinton and Allie Wittenbach, all seniors, began fundraising for cancer and disease research when they were in eighth grade.

After meeting with VAI's founding research director, Dr. George Vande Woude, the four decided they'd try to raise $100,000 before graduating high school.

The four have raised $105,962 to date with the help of Purple Community, through elaborate and often school-wide events.

Carol Van Andel said she was amazed by the spirit and determination of the students.

"These young women are leaders for today and for the next generation," Carol Van Andel said in a statement. "Not only did they keep (their) commitment, (but) they inspired their whole community to help them surpass their goal."

Lori "Maranda" Cook, host of "Maranda Where You Live" on WOTV-4, was also recognized.

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