20th Anniversary Celebration, April 20

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Thank you to the 500 guests who attended our 20th Anniversary celebration on April 20 at the Minneapolis Event Center. We are grateful to all who attended, everyone who donated items for our live and silent auctions, our volunteers, our corporate sponsors and all the people who have made these past 20 years an astounding success.

We are thrilled to report that we exceeded the event goal of raising $250,000! As a result of this event, hundreds of girls and young women across the state will be funded through our grant programs.

Guests were entertained during the social hour by program alumna, singer Cadence Eischens, with Holden Froemke accompanying her on his guitar.  They were followed by singer Julia Brennan, a local artist newly signed to Columba Records.

As a special treat, St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman proclaimed April 20, 2017, “Ann Bancroft Foundation Day.”

The 20th Anniversary Advisory Committee includes Ann Bancroft, Joan Higinbotham, Sally Johnson, Jan Malcolm, Sharon Olson and Kris Petersen. 

Enjoy pictures from the evening in the slide show below.

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 Special Guest Performer: Julia Brennan

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They say timing is everything. And this couldn't be truer for 18 year-old singer/songwriter Julia Brennan. If only it didn't take a broken collar bone to happen! "We have this little vintage motorcycle that my brother rides around the yard all the time," explains the Minneapolis-bred musician. "One day this summer, I jump on and just as I start going, I realize the hand brake was broken. I broke my collar bone and had to have surgery. I was stuck on the couch for a few weeks, and I said to myself, 'Well, I have nothing to do. And I've been sitting on these three songs for months, why not put them out now?'"

This summer, Julia self-released her first few songs, including the heartfelt, piano-laced breakout track 'Inner Demons.' "A week after I released the songs, I thought, 'I should send them into local radio stations and see if they'll play my songs.'" In just a few days, the pop radio station in Minneapolis (KDWB-FM) called Julia while on the air, talked to her about these songs, and played 'Inner Demons.' 

It had all happened almost too quickly for Julia to even digest. She had just moved into the dorms at the University of Minnesota to begin her freshman year of college as all of this was happening. The feedback on 'Inner Demons' was instantaneous and so positive that she pulled up stakes from her dorm room the day before her first class. A few days later, she signed a recording contract with Columbia Records.

"Inner Demons" was written by Julia and recorded in Nashville this past December, the singer/songwriter deciding to forge ahead with her career after gaining the confidence to tell her own stories. "I started really concentrating on my songwriting about a year ago," she says.

Click here to read an interview with Julia and hear her single, "Inner Demons."