April 16, 2021
Josh Reimnitz, Executive Director
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Hallie O’Neill, Development & Communications Associate
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Breakthrough Twin Cities to host their annual Booyah Bash in a hybrid drive-in movie format to accommodate the pandemic
Breakthrough Twin Cities (BTC), an established education equity organization in St. Paul, is planning for their annual Booyah Bash fundraiser which will take place May 7, 2021, at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Unlike past years, a traditional in-person gala isn’t possible with pandemic restrictions. That’s why this year the organization will engage its stakeholders in the form of a drive-in instead.
“We learned much from our virtual endeavors this past year,” says Josh Reimnitz, Executive Director. “We digitized many of our processes and shifted our approach to training future teachers in a way that lasts beyond the pandemic. Examples like these prove that Breakthrough can stay relevant and adapt alongside a rapidly changing landscape; our continued effectiveness depends on it, and we are up to the challenge.”
Breakthrough Twin Cities is a six-year college preparatory program for Twin Cities youth who meet an intersection of requirements that could otherwise create barriers in their pathways to higher education. BTC welcomes these talented and motivated young people and integrates them into rigorous extracurricular programming to prepare them for academic success and gives them a supportive community of peers to fall back on as they navigate 7th through 12th grades.
Each year, BTC’s Booyah Bash serves as both an annual fundraiser and a way to honor the year’s graduating class of seniors. This year is no different, although pandemic restrictions have forced BTC to think outside of the box.
This year’s Booyah Bash will feature both an in-person option and a virtual one to accommodate different levels of comfort. Tickets for the in-person Drive-In event are $500, which gets you a parking spot for four people along with a Breakthrough swag bag, dinner catered by My Burger, and a whole night of entertainment. Guests have the option to stay late for the double feature, which will be a movie showing of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, voted upon by Breakthrough’s graduating senior class.
The event’s drive-in format allows for COVID-safe protocols to take place, and BTC has worked hard to produce a fun and safe event for everyone. Guests will be required to wear masks outside of their vehicles, and students and staff outside of cars will be seated in socially distant spaces on bleachers or portable chairs.
Guests who prefer to attend the Booyah Bash from the comfort of their homes can register for a free virtual ticket, granting them access to a pre-recorded informational program lasting around 20 – 30 minutes. This is an excellent option for folks interested in learning more about the organization and who may not have the time or ability to attend the drive-in.
This year’s Booyah Bash will shine a special spotlight on BTC’s new partnership with the Eastern Carver County School District (ECC). At the onset of the pandemic, they launched this new third site of programming, piloting a virtual program with a pilot class of ten students with start-up funds from the Cargill Foundation. They will be expanding the ECC site this summer to accommodate increased student interest, and additional support is needed to sustain the program.
“I’ve seen the results this program has on its alumni and have heard firsthand what BTC graduates are doing in this world, and it’s significant,” said Allie Newman, Board member and supporter of the partnership. “Several are changing their communities single-handedly.”
BTC’s goal is to raise $225,000 through this year’s Booyah Bash to help provide the necessary resources for their 500+ students and 40+ Teaching Fellows across all three locations in the Twin Cities Metro for the upcoming year.
To learn more about Breakthrough’s mission and program, you can go to www.breakthroughtwincities.org. Both in-person and virtual tickets can be obtained under the “Events” tab.
Sponsors for the 2021 Booyah Bash include Mounds Park Academy, Renaissance, 3M, Cargill, Robins Kaplan LLP, Meristem Family Wealth, My Burger, Myers Communications Group, Riverland Bank, Xcel Energy, Chris & Dwight Porter, Josh Reimnitz & Daniela Vasan, Denise Rutherford & Maurice Kuypers, Arthur & Cheri Rolnick, and Dan & Emily Shapiro.
About Breakthrough Twin Cities
Breakthrough Twin Cities prepares students for college success and cultivates the next generation of educators. BTC envisions a future where all students have the resources to reach their full potential. Where every classroom is led by an engaging teacher committed to each student’s success, and where society as a whole realizes the ultimate social and economic benefits of fully investing in its youth. We provide a six-year college access program to support under-resourced students and their families in the Twin Cities. In middle school, we provide academic enrichment programming during the summer, in which college and high school students serve as Teaching Fellows and inspire students to grow and reach their goals. Our high school program helps students navigate school, college preparation rigors, and other challenges as they grow and develop. All students attend monthly Saturday sessions during the school year. We currently serve 506 students enrolled in grades 7 – 12. 88% of our high school students are enrolled in at least one honors course (compared to 36% of peers in the state), with 58% enrolled in 3 or more honors courses. During the summer of 2020, we employed 46 Teaching Fellows. 63% of them identified as people of color (compared to 4.2% of teachers in Minnesota). 32% identified as male (compared to 27% of teachers in Minnesota).
Additional information is available at www.breakthroughtwincities.org, on our Facebook page, and Instagram via @breakthroughtwincities or by using the hashtag #booyahbash2021.