One of the buildings that was destroyed was Minnesota Transitions Charter School. This was not only home to classrooms and students, but to Unlimited Next Level Drill Team, a North Minneapolis based, award-winning drum and dance team who has a practice space at MTCS. UNL lost everything in the destruction of MTCS including all but three instruments.
Founded in 2005 under the direction of Stephan A. Graham, the team participates in numerous parades and community events, spreading their love of music and dance across the Twin Cities. After Stephan passed away unexpectedly in 2012, the team continues to be a representation of his dedication to youth development, and a light of the community with annual appearances at Pride and the May Day parade. Now under the direction of Deondrea Cole and parent volunteers, the team needs our support.
UNL is a self-funded team who relies on community donations and fundraisers to get and maintain instruments, equipment, practice space, and fund competition entries for their kids. With the fire, all they have left is one set of cymbals, a snare and tom.
Our goal is to raise $10,000 which will go toward replacing the following instruments:
3x Bass Drums
3x Snare Drums
3x Toms (Tenor) Drums
2x Pairs of Cymbals
10 Pairs PomPoms
1 New Team Banner
*Please note, any remaining funds will be reinvested into the program. Instrument donations are also accepted and can be coordinated through contacting the organizer.
This team is more than an after-school activity. UNL gives kids a place of acceptance, a sense of responsibility, a way to express themselves and something to work toward. UNL is a source of pride for the community and if you’ve met any of the members, you know they’re more of a family than a band. As we look for places to give back during this time, please consider donating to rebuild Unlimited Next Level Drill Team and bring their passion back to the community.
Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions, suggestions or connections.
On behalf of Unlimited Next Level, thank you.
In partnership with UNL director Deondrea, this fundraiser was set up by Liz Wingate, proud Big Sister to 16-year-old UNL co-captain, Iyonna, and family friend of the Cole family. Liz has been Iyonna’s Big (BBBS Twin Cities) since 2015 and has been a supporter of UNL ever since. She knows first-hand the positive impact this group has had on the kids in it, and wants to help the legacy of Stephan live on through them.