Sixty by 60

SIXTY by 60 for Jackie Levin’s Birthday Wish

On October 11th 2011 I celebrated a milestone birthday – hard to believe, but it was my 60th.  When I began thinking about it, I had less than a year to plan for what I really wanted on that special day.  Since my “cancer journey” in 2003, I have seen my birthday as a chance to celebrate just “being here” and to ask myself poet Mary Oliver’s compelling question:

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

My answer to that question in September of 2010 was “SIXTY by 60” – a goal to raise enough money by my 60th birthday to fund 60 Dare to Dream micro grants awarded by the Ann Bancroft Foundation to girls age 10 to 10th grade.  Micro grants range from $100 to $500, so my goal was:

$6,000 to $30,000 by 10.11.11

WE RAISED: $10,000!

As a young girl I was fortunate because although my family was not wealthy, I had choices and opportunities and a family who was able to support many of my dreams. I also know there are many young girls out there today who have dreams but lack the necessary support and/or resources.  Girls who would not have the opportunity to explore their dreams as I did, if not for organizations like the Ann Bancroft Foundation.

Take for example Abigail, who will be an eighth grader at Hopkins North Jr. High this year, and represents many young girls in our community.  Two years ago Abigail had a dream of experiencing modeling to boost her confidence as she anticipated going into seventh grade but was hesitant to apply for an ABF grant.  With support from a mentor (me :-)) Abigail took on the challenge and submitted her application.  As you can imagine, Abigail was thrilled and surprised when she received a $500 micro grant allowing her to attend MsDenishia’s Modeling Boot Camp which included a photo shoot with fashion photographer John Wagner.  Check out Abigail’s story.

Even though the SIXTY by 60 campaign is officially over, you may still participate in this initiative and continue to support our girls to live their dreams.  Here’s how:

  • Make a donation to honor and/or celebrate a friend, family member, co-worker or special person in your life.  See “60 reasons to donate to the Ann Bancroft Foundation.”  Remember each recipient will receive a card from the Ann Bancroft Foundation with a reproduction of the beautiful butterfly painting “A Wing and a Prayer” by artist Denise Bunkert.
  • Be a SIXTY by 60 AMBASSADOR and encourage others to donate by passing out  donation packets.   The donation packet has instructions to make it easy for you to explain this campaign to others.  Feel free to copy it and/or forward it to share.   If you prefer the donation envelope (specially marked with the SIXTY by 60 butterfly), please contact
  • Encourage girls you know who may appreciate this opportunity to apply for a Dare to Dream Micro grant.  The applications are twice a year.  For more information visit:
  • For girls you know who may be interested in the Dare to Dream Micro Grant, but not have a mentor, consider fulfilling that role yourself and/or encouraging others to do so.  For more information about what’s involved, you may contact these mentors of past Dare to Dream grant recipients:


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