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11:30 AM11:30

Mentoring Matters Luncheon & Fundraiser

Please join us Wednesday, October 18th 11:30 - 12:30.

Thirvent Financial  625 S. 4th Avenue Minneapolis

Come hear inspiring stories, and meet a Kinship Mentor Match!

Please also come meet our distinguished guests Tony Sanneh and Barbara Gage.  


Tony Sanneh

Minnesota’s most successful ever male soccer player, St. Paul native Tony Sanneh enjoyed an impressive 17 year professional soccer career.  Major career highlights include starring in the 2002 FIFA World Cup in South Korea and Japan, two Major League Soccer championships with D.C. United and participation in the UEFA Champions League with Hertha Berlin during his six years in the German Bundesliga.  Sanneh’s impact on American soccer was recently recognized by his selection to the Soccer America U.S. Men’s National Team “All-Decade Team,” and he is currently a finalist for the United States Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2017.  

At the height of his playing career, he created The Sanneh Foundation (TSF) to leverage soccer’s unique potential to create positive social change for under-served youth. Since retiring from professional soccer in 2010 and becoming the organization’s full-time CEO, TSF has evolved into one of Minnesota’s leading youth development organizations by serving the holistic youth development needs of increasingly diverse Twin Cities metro area. Overseeing TSF’s overall direction and progress, Sanneh has led the organization from a single program and a total budget of $30,000, to six programs and a yearly budget of over three million dollars.  Last year alone, TSF served nearly 10,000 youth.

In addition to his executive leadership role within The Sanneh Foundation, Sanneh continues to serve the United States as a Sports Envoy on behalf of the SportsUnited Division of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  In this official diplomatic capacity he has shared his knowledge and expertise of sports based youth development in Bolivia, Cyprus, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Ethiopia, and Malaysia, helping to spread American cultural values of tolerance, inclusion and female empowerment using the international language of sport.

Barbara Carlson Gage

Barbara Carlson Gage is a prominent civic leader, philanthropist and businesswoman.

For 21 years, Mrs. Gage served as president and chair of the Carlson Family Foundation, the Carlson family’s philanthropic organization, which focuses on education, children and youth at-risk, and youth mentoring.  In 2017, she was presented with the Excellence in Mentoring Award by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership.

She is a co-founder of the World Childhood Foundation, established by Her Majesty, Queen Silvia of Sweden, and has served on the Swedish Board of World Childhood Foundation.

As a co-owner of Carlson, a global leader in the travel industry, Barbara previously served on the board of directors.  She sits on the board of governors of Carlson Holdings, where she also served as co-CEO.

Barbara is also co-owner of Gage Marketing Group, a marketing agency founded by her husband, Edwin “Skip” Gage.

A graduate of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, Barbara graduated with a teaching degree and taught English for the Robbinsdale (Minnesota) School District.

Barbara served on the College Board of Regents at Augsburg College for 12 years, where she was also board chair for 4 years.  Barbara has served in numerous volunteer positions with non-profit and civic organizations, including as a member of the PACER Center Advisory Board.  She serves on the Generation Next Leadership Council and is a member of the President’s Advisors for the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota.

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Meet a Kinship Mentor Match who just celebrated their 2 year Match Anniversary!

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