Sponsors needed: Donate, help make a great community event even better

The Access Press Charlie Smith Award Banquet is Friday, Nov. 2. The banquet, one of the most-anticipated events of the year for Minnesota’s disability community, needs sponsors and silent auction/raffle item donors to make this year’s event the best ever.

The banquet is held at the Minneapolis Airport Marriott in Bloomington and features a delicious dinner, many silent auction and raffle items, a surprise entertainment feature and an acceptance speech by the winner of the Charlie Smith Award. The Marriott is fully accessible and the banquet is held in a spacious ballroom, with room for personal care attendants, wheelchairs, scooters and service animals.

All types of accommodations are offered including ASL interpretation and possibly screen captioning. When reservations are made, please let Access Press know what accommodations are needed. Ticket information is available by calling the office at 651-644-2133 or checking the newspaper website at www.accesspress.org

Sponsors are still being sought. Access Press offers three levels of sponsorship, using titles that reflect terms used historically in the newspaper industry.


Keyliners Level – $200. This denotes the keyliners, who used to paste up newspaper pages. If you are a keyliner sponsor:

• Your logo will be displayed at a table
• Your organization/company name will be listed in the 2012 Charlie Award Banquet program
• Your organization/company will be recognized in our November & December 2012 newspapers
• You will have one (1) free website ad (your month of choice), a value of $100


Proofreaders Level – $300. This denotes the proofreaders, who checked newspaper pages for errors. If you are a proofreader sponsor:

• Your logo will be displayed at a table
• Your organization/company name will be listed in the 2012 Charlie Award Banquet program
• Your organization/company will be recognized in our November & December 2012 newspapers
• You will have two (2) free rotating website ads (your months of choice), a value of $200
• Your organization/company will be listed on a special banner (on display) during the 2012 Charlie Award Banquet


Editor-in-Chief Level – $400. This denotes the leader of the newspaper. If you are an editor-in-chief sponsor:

• Your logo will be displayed at a table.
• Your organization/company name will be listed in the 2012 Charlie Award Banquet program
• Your organization/company will be recognized in our November & December 2012 newspapers
• You will have two (2) free rotating website ads (your months of choice), a value of $200
• Your organization/company will be listed on a special banner, on display during the 2012 Charlie Award Banquet
• Your organization/company will be recognized by our emcee during the 2012 Charlie Award Banquet
• A table will be named in your organization/ company’s honor the evening of the event
• A free Access Press subscription, a value of $30
• One (1) Directory of Organizations listing, good for one year, a value of $60



Donations are needed for the newspaper’s annual silent auction and “pick your prize” raffle. Past prizes have included theater and sports tickets, gift certificates, original art, a stay in an accessible cabin, a homemade birdhouse and more.

Access Press Office Manager Dawn Frederick handles the sponsor, silent auction and raffle. Contact Dawn at 651-644-2133 or at dawn@access press.org if you would like to be a sponsor or if you would like to make a donation for the silent auction and raffle.

The banquet and award are named in honor of Charlie Smith Jr., the founding editor of Access Press. The annual award is given in his honor. With the help of his parents, Rose and Charlie Smith Sr., he started the newspaper in 1990. Access Press remains Minnesota’s statewide disability community newspaper and is one of only a few such papers in the United States.

Until his death in 2001, Charlie Smith was a tireless advocate for Minnesota’s disability community. He was a fixture at news events and at the state capitol. He was active in a number of organizations and was well-versed in state and federal law and issues. The award is given in his name to honor people who have contributed as much to Minnesota’s disability community as the Smith family did.

Nominations for the annual award closed Aug. 10. The Access Press Board of Directors will review the nominations and announce the winner in the September issue of the newspaper.

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