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Minneapolis Parks Foundation > Common Ground > News > From the Executive Director > #TBT – Despite heavy rain, Sunrise on the Mississippi was a hit

#TBT – Despite heavy rain, Sunrise on the Mississippi was a hit

Thank you to all 242 hardy Minnesotans who made it out to Boom Island at 7am, Thursday, September 17, for our first annual Sunrise on the Mississippi breakfast benefit.

It’s hard to recall, but it was a stormy morning. Yet even as the sun rose behind the clouds, the many who gathered brought great light and energy to an otherwise dark morning. Said one attendee, “I know you had to scramble around the weather, but I thought it was a beautiful day!”

Between rain showers and eagle sightings, renowned placemaker Gil Penalosa reminded us of the importance of access and connections to parks, as well as engagement with a broad community. We heard from you that Gil was inspirational and his presentation was fascinating.

Attendees also saw the premiere of the new RiverFirst: Vision film. This inspiring 4-minute narrative features partner and community voices expressing the importance of the Mississippi River. The film illustrates how expanding parkland along the Mississippi River through the RiverFirst vision will revitalize the Minneapolis Upper Riverfront and strengthen community connections to the Mississippi River.

Thank you to everyone who joined us, left a gift, made a pledge, or wants to further the conversation.

We’re proud to announce that we raised $73,000 (and counting).

We’re also thankful to our partners, table sponsors and volunteers, without whom Sunrise on the Mississippi wouldn’t have been possible:


The Ackerberg Group  •  ESG Architects  •  HGA
Minneapolis Downtown Council  •  NTH  •  Peace Coffee
Prairie Restorations, Inc.  •  Recreational Equipment, Inc.  •  Softcrylic, LLC


Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board  •  Nice Ride Minnesota


Terry Anderson • Han Do • Marilyn Garber • Liz Hixson • Amanda Moeller

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we are grateful for the service leadership of Board Member Mary McCarthy. As Chair of the Sunrise Committee, her vision inspired this memorable event, while her enthusiasm, persistence, and dedication brought it to life. The success of Sunrise is a testament to her belief in the power of the parks to bring us together.

Sunrise proved that together we are the Next Generation of Parks. Not just because of the financial support generated, but also because of the momentum built. “Remarkable work,” said another attendee. “And an enthusiastic community to support work on the river.”

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