(Alexandria, MN) A number of people gathered last Saturday afternoon and evening to celebrate the inspiring story of one pioneer in women's athletics and to look at all the accomplishments since.  The Alexandria Education Foundation hosted a free throw contest and special get together Saturday in honor of Bev "B" Lohrman Grossman.  Bev was a teacher, coach, and advocate for young women in Alexandria Public Schools.  She taught in Alexandria from 1960 to 1983, but was an educator for 30+ years.

Title IX enacted in 1972, opening the door to women's athletics.  Bev got busy providing opportunities for young women in Alexandria right away.  She started and coached the first women’s Interscholastic Track and Field team in the Spring of 1973.  Her leadership compelled the school board to move to interscholastic sports for girls and build the women’s athletic programs.  Later on "B" moved to Arkansas.  Her son Michael says she spent many years with the Hot Springs Village Women’s Club, was the President of Hot Springs Village Women’s Club 1991 to 1992 and raised funds for the Literacy Council, local health and fire departments, education, Good Samaritan, First Step School, educational scholarships, and many more needed causes.  He says she also assisted with Arkansas Educational system reform.

Saturday was the inaugural event of the newly formed Bev “B” Lohrman Grossman Foundation.  It included a banquet honoring 50 years of Alexandria Women’s Basketball and a a free throw contest for all ages and genders.

The foundation was founded in 2021 under the leadership of Bev’s son Michael and other family members.  Its mission is to continue her life-long work to support education with a special emphasis on young women in both academic and athletic settings.  The celebration help raise more than $9,500 for the foundation.  Michael says all of these funds will go to the Alexandria Area school system and a scholarship program for women athletes.

Emceed by KXRA radio host and former Jefferson High School graduate Patty Wicken, the banquet’s keynote speakers are Wendy Kohler, long-time Minnesota Hall of Fame Coach for the Alexandria Cardinals, and members of the first women’s basketball team, including Carol Hughes.  Carol wore a special jacket during her speech.  It is the very first letter jacket for Alexandria Female athletes.  It has a 'B' on the sleeve that is showing and 'Bev" on the other sleeve.  The one that Carol was wearing was given to Carol by Bev at one point after she and Bob moved back to Alex.  At Bev's funeral Carol gave it to her granddaughters Sara and Jessica Lohrman.  Sara Lohrman now has the jacket and brought it to the event where Carol proudly wore it during her speech.  Carol says, "When Bev moved back to Alexandria from Arkansas and I met her at Jefferson High School, she was very pleased to see that this was still the style of jacket that the Alexandria girls were wearing."  

Prior to it was the free throw contest.  Newly-elected school board member and former Cardinal athlete Maureen Eigen lost out to Marv Poegel in the final round of the "B" event free throw contest.

The purpose of the foundation is to continue Bev’s life-long support of education by:

  • Acknowledging and encouraging women’s accomplishments by providing college scholarships
  • providing classroom academic grants that focus on opening doors for young women
  • supporting women’s athletic programming

The foundation is partnering with the Alexandria Education Foundation(AEF) in order to help achieve Bev’s purpose.  The AEF was started in 2002 to support the continued academic excellence of Alexandria Public Schools.  The AEF supports unique learning experiences for students in early childhood through 12th grade.  It has awarded over $400,000 in classroom grants since its inception.  This strategic partnership will streamline efforts and maximize Bev’s foundation’s purpose of supporting students.