Committees Collaborate to Maximize Impact

April 28, 2023

Girl Up, People Serving People partner to provide blankets


Cleo Kilpatrick

Hunter Simon ‘26 starts working on a tie blanket. By the end of the event, Girl Up finished five blankets that were donated to People Serving People.

On Friday, April 21, Girl Up hosted their blanket tying and snack fundraiser. For this event, members of Girl Up and the community came together, tied blankets, and watched “Hidden Figures”. 

The movie is about three African American women at NASA, Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson, mathematicians who served a vital role in the early years of the U.S. space program. 

Co-chair Michelle Elliot ‘25 explained the main goal of the event was, “to have a good time and see how [the] media can really teach us different ways and inspire us as Girl Up members to just be leaders in our own capacity.” 

Along with the goal of creating community, the club was tying blankets for People Serving People, a homeless shelter in Minneapolis. 

As a committee Girl Up aims to, Elliot explained, “We try to keep this theme of empowerment of women, inside the Blake community and outside the Blake community through fundraising mainly. And supporting partner organizations.” Another important part Elliot pointed out was, anyone can be a part of Girl Up. You don’t have to identify as a girl to be a part of the event or club.

Empty Bowls, Hunger Committee combat food insecurity


Submitted by Truman Morsman

Alaena Bohrnsen ‘25 works on a piece for the May show and sale.

The Empty Bowls club channels their artistic talents to help those in need. Every Friday during flex time, they meet to whip out beautiful ceramic pieces that will be fired in the kiln and then cooperatively decorated. They don’t just take a spin on the wheel for fun, but create pieces all year to be shown and sold in a gallery exhibit at the end of the school year. All profits made from the pottery sales will go to the non-profit organization Every Meal, which provides meals to children on weekends and breaks when they aren’t receiving school lunches. 

Club leader, Truman Morsman ‘23 says that he participates because he thinks that “food scarcity is a big problem and I think learning about it and trying to do something about it is easy and fulfilling.” Morsman is not only happy to be able to give back but, “really enjoy[s] making pottery.” 

Last year, the club collaborated with the Hunger Committee to plan an awareness raising event. The two clubs taught Lower School students about food scarcity and decorated bowls premade by Empty Bowls. 

The clubs are collaborating again on a similar project this year. Currently, the club has about 45 pieces to sell at the end of year show but Morsman says they are aiming to “sell 60 pieces.”

Crisis Nursery YAB supports Early Learning Center opening


Cleo Kilpatrick

Construction wraps up at the ELC.

On Sunday, April 30, The Crisis Nursery Youth Advisory Board (YAB) will be volunteering at the opening of the Early Learning Center (ELC).

The ELC has been under construction for the past two years and will open its doors to Pre-K, Kindergarten, and First grade students for the 2023-2024 school year. The opening of the ELC signals the consolidation of the two Lower School campuses, and the closing of Highcroft. 

YAB “supports the greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery, which is a place where parents can drop off their kids for day-care, so that they’re out of an abusive home,” says Payton Smith ‘24, one of the co-chairs of YAB.

At this event, there will be fun activities like bean bag toss, face painting, and packing MATTER Packs. The MATTER Packs are similar to the ones many groups packed at Legacy Day earlier this year and will be donated to the Minneapolis Crisis Nursery. 

“It’s a community event, bringing everyone together to celebrate the opening of the Early Learning Center,” says Smith. 

While the event is aimed at families who have children that attend the ELC, students and community members of all ages are welcome.

Environmental Committee combines with Bennett Gallery


Sam Tomczik

Josh Smith ‘23 and Alexa Hatcher ‘23 check out the plants for sale during the Plantorama reception while Eva Stegic ‘23 shows her parents some of her art pieces.

Money might not grow on trees but the Environmental Committee has gotten pretty close. The committee just recently collaborated with the Bennett Gallery’s Plantorama show to host a plant sale where all proceeds were donated to Dream of Wild Health, a local organization dedicated to restoring health and wellbeing to Native American communities. 

Grace Flikke ‘24 says that the Environmental Committee chose to send the plant sale proceeds to this organization because they wanted to support the “intersectionality of the environment with other issues.” Dream of Wild Health simultaneously supports the well being of indigenous communities and the environment.

The Environmental Committee and the gallery team created an exhibit focused on the appreciation of plants and nature. To do this, the Environmental Committee researched different interesting facts and benefits of plants, and posted them on the walls of the exhibit.

The plants on sale have been carefully propagated by Environmental Committee members since before winter break and most pots and plants have been donated for the event and carefully potted by committee members.

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