A lucky strike for girls taking action

Bowling event raises critical funds for ​nonprofit serving girls of color​

A group of Black podcasters joined with community, government, and business leaders to lace up their bowling shoes for ​a good cause.

Sponsored by Sheletta Brundidge’s podcasting platform Shelettamakesmelaugh.com, the August 11 bowling tournament at Pinstripes in Edina generated crucial funds for the Girls Taking Action mentorship program.

“It means a lot to see my community stepping up to put their dollars into the good work we are doing,” said Girls Taking Action Founder and President Dr. Verna Cornelia Price. “This will really boost our budget. This is huge for us!”

Dr. Price shed “happy tears” when she accepted an oversized check in the amount of $10,000.

Since it began in 2005, Girls Taking Action has benefited 3000 junior and senior high school girls. The after-school and intensive summer program provides resources and inspiration to participants through mentorship with women leaders, ongoing academic support and field trips to colleges, and cultural and community events.

Ninety-five percent of girls in the program graduate from high school, with 75% going on to college. 

For the upcoming school year, 325 underserved girls in the Twin Cities are scheduled to participate in Girls Taking Action programming during the upcoming school year, and there’s a waiting list to join the program. Sponsorship for a girl is $1,500 for the year. 

“When I heard that Dr. Price’s annual gala fell short in reaching its goal, I thought of the words of the prophet Neno Brown: ‘Am I my sister’s keeper? Yes, I am!’” said Brundidge. “We asked our community partners to join us in a fun afternoon to help out.”

Podcasters including Anissa Nicole Keyes, Brandon Jones, Chaz Sandifer, Lambers Fisher, and Brundidge herself, formed bowling teams with Jonathan Weinhagen, president of the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce; Daniel Ballard of Clear Channel Outdoors; Beth Pliego of United Health Care; Cindy Leines, CEO of CEL Marketing; State Senator Kari Dziedzic; Marsha Carter of Going Beyond; and Dr. Nneka Sederstrom, chief health equity officer at Hennepin Healthcare.

Joining Dr. Price in the fun at the lanes were several of the young participants in the Girls Taking Action summer program, including Purpose Price, Miara Gross, Gianna Grisby and Daylynn Olsen.

Fourteen-year-old Purpose Price, who is entering her freshman year of high school, was impressed with her bowling score (134) and even more impressed with the high-achieving adult bowlers she was teamed with.

She got the opportunity to get to know a few of them as they chatted between taking turns hitting the pins. “It was really cool to get to talk to people who are doing such great things in the community,” said Price.

“It was meaningful for the girls to witness the support base from the corporate leaders, and it was also impressive for them to meet the Black podcasters who are sharing their voices,” said Dr. Price.

In addition to the money raised for Girls Taking Action, the podcasting trio of the “JET Setting Divas,” Jeanette, Evette, and Tina donated $7,500 for a technical college scholarship for a girl enrolled in the program.

“It’s amazing to see women of color getting behind the support of our girls,” added Dr. Price.​

​For more information on Girls Taking Action, visit www.gtaction.org.