Don’t miss the November 3 celebration and fundraiser

As the leaves turn and the weather turns chilly, don’t let time slip away! Make reservations today for the annual […]

Table setting for an event

As the leaves turn and the weather turns chilly, don’t let time slip away! Make reservations today for the annual Access Press Celebration and Fundraiser on Friday, November 3. You don’t want to miss this chance to honor the 2023 Charlie Smith Award winner, U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank. Newspaper board members and staff will also pay tribute to the late Tim Benjamin, longtime executive director of Access Press.

The event, emceed by KARE-11’s master storyteller Boyd Huppert, is a great way to connect with members of our community. Huppert is a great speaker and has done many stories about Minnesotans with disabilities.

The event is at McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak Street SE, Minneapolis, in Memorial Hall, first floor. The venue is on the East Bank campus of the University of Minnesota.

The fun starts with 5:30 p.m. registration and reception. The dinner and program start at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person, or $600 per table of eight. Purchase tickets online at

Getting There and Scheduling

Located on the University of Minnesota campus, the Alumni Center is accessible
by public transportation. It is near Green Line light rail and several bus routes. Check for route and time information.

The facility has a drop-off entrance for Metro Mobility users. It’s recommended that rides be scheduled to leave the event at 8 p.m., which is when the program is scheduled to end.

Anyone driving to the event should consider parking in the University Avenue Ramp, 1926 University Avenue SE. The ramp has a tunnel to McNamara.

The Reception

Guests can find lots to do after checking in at the reception. Guest will have full access to the first floor of a beautiful, award-winning facility, including the Heritage Gallery, videos, a cash bar, and live music performed by In Solid Air. Come early and catch up with friends because there is lots to do and many friends to catch up with.


The dinner, provided by D’Amico Catering, will be guests’ choice of dinner is ordered at the time of reservation. Here are the choices:

Sautéed chicken, champagne sauce, dried fruit chutney, roasted red potato, haricot vert, fennel, mushrooms (GF)

Butternut squash ravioli, cream sauce, chives – V

Cauliflower steak, red quinoa, cilantro pesto, coconut cauliflower puree, chili oil (GF, DF, VV)

GF-GlutenFreeDF-DairyFreeV- Vegetarian VV – Vegan

If event guests need to change a menu choice after purchasing tickets,contact Jane Larson at [email protected] or 612-562-7803 by October 22 to request a change.


A warm welcome from the Access Press Board of Directors will be followed by our guest speaker, award-winning journalist Boyd Huppert. This will be followed by presentation of the Charlie Smith Award, a remembrance of Tim Benjamin, and a special announcement. Of course, as this is our biggest fundraising effort, we will ask for your support of Access Press to fund our future.


Tickets can be ordered online at Contact Jane Larson at [email protected] or at 612-562-7803 for non-standard requests,such as asking to be invoiced or to let us know that your guests registered individually but wish to sit at the same table. We will do our best to honor requests.

Scholarship Tickets

Just as Access Press provides news to all who need it, not just those who can afford it, we want all readers and friends to join us. To the extent possible, we will furnish scholarship or subsidized tickets to the dinner. Contact Jane Larson (above) if you need a scholarship or subsidized ticket. If you wish to make a tax-deductible donation of scholarship tickets, please do so at the ticket website.

This year, Access Press celebrates 33 years in publication and 16 years of the Charlie Smith Award, recognizing contributions to disability rights and community. 2023 is also the 33rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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