Monday, February 13, 2017
Ten-year-old Gracey Ninmer was moved when she saw the Oscar-nominated movie Hidden Figures, which celebrates the careers of three African-American women who made unprecedented contributions to the U.S. space program in an era when women and blacks faced enormous challenges. When she learned on social media about efforts to raise money to send 10,000 MPS students and Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee members to see the movie, she decided to help.
“At first, I made some announcements at school and put a box in the office to collect money,” Gracey explained. “But after a few days, no one had put any money in the box, so I had to come up with another idea.” Gracey held a bake sale to raise money and within just a few minutes, the treats were gone and the box was filled.
Gracey raised $202. She and her dad, Derek, a member of the Board of Education for the Edgerton School District, which is southeast of Madison, personally delivered the money to MPS Superintendent Darienne Driver. Dr. Driver praised Gracey’s generous efforts, saying she expects to continue to hear about Gracey doing more great things in the future.
Community organizations including the Beta Alpha Boulé of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity – an organization of African-American male leaders – MPS, Marcus Theatres, MPS Foundation, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee are leading a fundraising effort to send all MPS sixth- and seventh-graders to see the movie. Donations have also poured in from hundreds of individuals.
Photos: Top-right: Front row (Derek Ninmer, Ann Terrell, Gracey Ninmer, Dr. Driver, Tonya Adair, Ashley Lee, Gina Spang); Back row (Himanshu Parikh, Dr. Keith Posley, Wendell Willis, Gerald Pace, Sue Saller, Ruth Maegli). Bottom-left: Derek Ninmer, Gracey Ninmer and Dr. Driver.