Charity helps put college in reach for hundreds of students of color

Annual Page Education Foundation Gala held at U.S. Bank Stadium

Justice Alan with gala attendees
Justice Alan with gala attendees (James L. Stroud, Jr/MSR News)

The Page Education Foundation is a charity founded in 1988, by Alan Page, the former Minnesota Viking turned Minnesota Supreme Court Justice and now a Pro Football Hall of Famer, along with his wife Diane Sims Page. This year they celebrated another successful year of raising money to make a positive impact on local students of color through education.

Their annual All-Star-themed benefit gala was held on Saturday evening, September 10, at the new U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis. There were nearly 1,000 people in attendance, which included prominent local individuals from politics, business, education and professional sports. Two supporters were Justice Page’s friends and former Minnesota Vikings fellow linemen Carl Eller and Jim Marshall.

(l-r) Jim Marshall and Carl Eller
(l-r) Jim Marshall and Carl Eller (James L. Stroud, Jr. /MSR Ne

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We also require all Page scholars to give back through an ongoing youth mentorship program and volunteering.

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“I can’t say that I’m surprised by this large turnout for support of our great cause, but I can say that I am very pleased to see it,” said Page to the MSR. The event was filled with lots of food, laughter, raffle drawings, and a silent auction. Live music and entertainment was provided by the Chastity Brown Band. VIP ticket holders received an exclusive pre-party tour of the new U.S. Bank Stadium.

Many of the Page Foundation scholarship recipients dressed up for the gala as volunteers for the evening and performed a variety of tasks. This included everything from greeting guests and participating in the silent auction, to covering various stations like the table of children’s books for sale written by Justice Page. The books help raise money for the foundation. All proceeds from the auctions and ticket sales benefited the Foundation’s mission.

Children’s books by Justice Page were available for sale with proceeds to benefit Page scholars.
Children’s books by Justice Page were available for sale with proceeds to benefit Page scholars. (James L. Stroud, Jr/MSR News)

Page scholars get financial help for their post-secondary education, and in turn they spend at least 50 hours each year working with school children as role models for success. Students at all levels of academic achievement and of any age can apply and qualify for a Page Scholarship, which is awarded based on an applicant’s educational goals, willingness to work with children, and financial need.

In the past, the benefit has generated as much as one-third of the Page Education Foundation’s annual budget. According to the organization’s annual report, proceeds from the Foundation’s 2015 Gala were instrumental in granting scholarships to 536 new Page scholars for the 2015-2016 academic year, a value of more than $816,000.

In a statement released to the media in August of 2016, Page said, “Our goal for the Page Education Foundation has always been to enrich the lives of students of color by increasing their access to higher education, but the Foundation’s impact doesn’t stop there. We also require all Page scholars to give back through an ongoing youth mentorship program and volunteering.

“In 2016 alone, Page scholars logged nearly 24,000 hours of community service. All of this is made possible in large part by the generous donations from our annual All-Star Gala.”

 

For more information about the Page Education Foundation, visit www.page-ed.org.

James L. Stroud, Jr. welcomes readers’ responses tojlswriter@gmail.com.

 

 

 

About James L. Stroud Jr

James L. Stroud Jr. is a contributing writer and photographer at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.

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