2017: OUR MOST SUCCESSFUL GALA YET!
THANK YOU for making Gala4Goals 2017 our most successful gala to date. We are inspired by the outpouring of support we received from the over 1,300 community members who came together in the name of youth empowerment. It is humbling to be in a room filled with such a lively, vibrant crowd who shares faith and commitment in the work of The Sanneh Foundation and continue to attend our event because they know we do good.
There was a buzz of excitement in the air at this year's gala. Our organization is growing and our support network is as electrified as it is diverse - business and political leaders, educators, young professionals, athletes, artists - all united to empower kids, improve lives and unite communities.
Gala4Goals 2017 raised over $500,000! After an inspiring keynote by Tony Sanneh that focused on faith and commitment, the Fund A Need was accelerated by a $25,000 match gifted by The Otto Bremer Trust. The live auction was brought to a frenzy when Greta and Kevin Warren donated two lower level 2018 SuperBowl tickets on the spot! Mr. Warren said during his address that as long as Tony is doing what he is doing, he will have the support of Greta, Kevin and the Minnesota Vikings. Manny Lagos of Presenting Sponsor Minnesota United FC said it was amazing and an honor to be there in front of so many faces he knew, and so many new faces he didn't yet know. Guests were welcomed to their tables by the colorful dancing and drumming of the Karen Community Dancers and DJ Otto mixed up a great vibe at the after party.
As always, TSF youth were a focus on the program. The fantastic 13 year-old Mariatu served as co-host, Tony's friend Ache presented the Lifetime Service Award to Jerry Timian and, of course, a crew of Conway kids accompanied Tony on stage - and even got to dance.
We want to thank YOU for helping us create the most successful Gala4Goals to date. Your Faith and Commitment in our organization is energizing and together we will continue to Empower, Improve and Unite the Community. Over the past five years we have come a long way and we see a strong future in our path. We continue to evolve each year because of YOU.
On this page you will find video highlights, award information, access to photos and information about our sponsors. Please explore and enjoy, and stay tuned for information on Gala4Goals 2018!
Tony's Keynote: Faith & Commitment
Faith and Commitment are themes that have been central to the successess Tony Sanneh has seen throughout his life - in his soccer career, in his community and in building and evolving The Sanneh Foundation. He and his staff devote that same Faith and Commitment into the lives of the youth we serve - in the parks, in the schools and in the community and encourage them to do the same as they develop and grow into mentors and volunteers. At the core of his keynote this year, Tony asked that you, our network of supporters, continue to entrust us with that same Faith and Commitment by supporting our work.
The House That Jerry Timian Helped Build
Jerry Timian of The Saint Paul Foundation has been a long time mentor to Tony Sanneh, in fact he trusted Tony enough to award him his first major grant. Tony attributes many personal and business lessons to Jerry’s guidance over the years and even refers to TSF as “The House That Jerry Timian Helped Build.” Jerry plans to retire this year and, as a show of gratitude, Tony (and his friend Ache) presented him with a Lifetime Service Award to thank him for his priceless support.
Mariatu Rocks It As Gala4Goals Co-Emcee
Our work at The Sanneh Foundation focuses on youth empowerment, so it only made sense to empower one of our bright Conway youth at the gala this year. Thirteen year old Mariatu Kanu was incredible as co-emcee alongside WCCO’s Angela Davis. Mariatu has been coming to Conway Community Center for three years and participates in volleyball, basketball, soccer, the girls’ empowerment group and other programs. Her natural leadership qualities shone as she introduced Mayor Chris Coleman and Greta and Kevin Warren to the audience of over 1,100.
Great job, Mariatu. We are proud to have you represent The Sanneh Foundation!
Karen Cultural Dancers Entertain Gala Guests
Did you know there are over 10,000 Karen refugees from the country of Burma living in Minnesota? We are excited that many of the local Karen youth view Conway Community Center as their second home. The Karen dancers practice regularly at Conway Community Center and perform locally. We were thrilled to welcome them as entertainment at this year’s gala.
Kevin Warren Shares A Story About His Childhood Inspiration
The Sanneh Foundation is grateful for the support of both Greta and Kevin Warren - who were Gala4Goals Co-Chairs this year. In this clip, Kevin shares a story about someone who inspired him as a child, and how if you make a child feel important - they remember it for a lifetime.
SPECIAL GUESTS & VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS
IMAGES FROM THE EVENING
2017 TSF Staff Members of the Year
St. Cloud Program Manager
St. Cloud Promise Fellow Coach
Conway Community Center Program Coordinator
2017 Delorez Houle Soccer Mom of the Year
2017 Stephanie Dillon Most Inspirational Award
St. Thomas Academy Student & TSF Camps Volunteer
2017 Steve Silton Board Member of the Year
Dr. Stacey Gray-Akyea
Director of Research, Evaluation & Assessment - St. Paul Public Schools