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MINNEAPOLIS--The Ann Bancroft Foundation will celebrate its 15th anniversary of supporting girls and women on April 25. The Foundation has awarded 3,000 grants to help women and girls realize and achieve their dreams.

The Ann Bancroft Foundation exemplifies the spirit of explorer and educator, Ann Bancroft, whose leadership and personal and historic achievements have inspired all people to take on new challenges. The Foundation endeavors to live this mission by recognizing individual achievement and by promoting initiatives that inspire courage, risk-taking, integrity and individuality in girls and women.

The Foundation's event, dreamXchange: A Celebration of the Possible, will take place on April 25. Dozens of former Ann Bancroft Award winners and Dare to Dream grant recipients, past and present, will be in attendance. The girls and women will share stories of hope and courage, and how the Foundation's modest investments and actions have had profound impacts on their lives.

Ann Bancroft organized and led the first all-woman expedition to Antarctica, becoming the first woman to reach both Poles across the ice. In 2001 Bancroft and Norwegian Liv Arnesen became the first women in history to cross Antarctica's landmass.

This November, Bancroft and Arnesen will lead six women from six continents on an 80-day expedition to the South Pole to create awareness of the planet's critical water crisis. The Access Water Project aims to encourage a move to action on global and local levels.

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