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By The Skanner News
Published: 19 April 2006


Members of the Washington High School "Soldiers of Step" team from Tacoma, Wash., savor their victory with National Football League MVP Shaun Alexander, center.

The Bridge Builders, in collaboration with Nike's African American Diversity Network and U.S. Supply Chain group, held Portland's first high school step competition, dubbed "The Show!"

The event, attended by an estimated 500 people at Nike's Tiger Woods Center last Saturday, was organized to help the Bridge Builders pay for its annual tour of colleges and universities, including Historically Black Colleges and American historic sites along the famous Underground Railroad. The event collected $6,000.

National Football League MVP Shaun Alexander of the Seattle Seahawks hosted the competition. Five high school step teams from across the Pacific Northwest competed for the $1,000 grand prize and honorary title, "King/Queen of the Show." Washington High School from Tacoma, Wash., won the prize money and the competition.

Members from the historically Black fraternitiesand sororities Alpha Phi Alpha, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Kappa Alpha Psi, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma and Zeta Phi Beta providedhistorical informationabout their organizations, and they gave a sample of each group's signature step.

Team performances were judged on showmanship, originality, syncopation, difficulty of routine and professionalism.

Since1996,Bridge Builders has helped nearly 1,500 African American students to graduate from high school and 95 percent of its participants have been accepted by colleges. Students have  prestigious colleges and universities through out the country, including Fisk, Harvard, Hampton,Howard, Morehouse, Pitt, Stanford and Tuskegee. They have also studied abroad in such countries as Ghana, Spain, Italy and Mexico.

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