2021: A Year of Challenges, Complexity, and Renewed Hope

Dear V3 friends and supporters,

With the ongoing pandemic and persistent racial disparities continuing to impact our community, it has been a year of challenges and complexity. And yet, because of your generosity and support, it has also been a year of renewed hope. V3’s resolve has never been stronger.

At V3, we will remember 2021 as a whirlwind. We watched some of the world’s best swimmers break records in our 50-meter pool at the USA Olympic Trials in Omaha, and celebrated when we brought the pool home to North Minneapolis. We have grown – welcoming passionate and inspiring leaders to our team and board of directors (more on that below), and began training lifeguards, instructors, and coaches for the future V3 Center. We’ve been gathering input, inspiration, and wisdom from our community, including our newly formed Youth Advisory Board. We are also turning the V3 Center vision into a reality with our North Minneapolis-raised architect!

And I’m humbled that, as our nation has struggled with the economic uncertainty of the pandemic, we have raised millions of dollars to begin construction of the first phase of the V3 Center in the spring of 2022. While we still have millions more to raise, because of our momentum, in a few short months, you’ll see local crews tear down the old Muscle Bound Bindery building at the corner of Lyndale and Plymouth Avenues, which has in recent years been a great home for V3 Sports AND an incredible array of local organizations dedicated to serving the people of North Minneapolis. 

But we cannot turn the final page of our calendar without giving thanks and recognizing you for all of your amazing energy, support, and contributions. We continue to be inspired by your compassion and shared sense of community.

This momentum also wouldn’t be possible without the help of our growing board of directors and V3 team! This year, valuable additions include Malik Rucker (director of strategic partnerships and community engagement) and Jane Townsend (managing director). We also welcomed two V3 alumni, Analyah Schlaeger dos Santos (chair) and Isaac De Souza (secretary), to our board, along with former Olympic gold medalist and Minneapolis resident David Plummer.

Pictured: Malik Rucker, Jane Townsend, Analyah Schlaeger dos Santos, Isaac De Souza, David Plummer

Thanks for everything you’ve done to support V3’s mission and vision in 2021. I couldn’t be more excited about the year ahead and look forward to sharing more about the groundbreaking for the V3 Center!

Wishing you joy as we approach the new year,

Erika L. Binger

P.S. Thank you to everyone who donated to help us reach our $10,000 December match. We exceeded our goal and are honored so many people and organizations have chosen to get behind this aspirational vision!

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