Free ‘Captain Marvel’ screening to showcase heroics for girls

An Edmonds woman, a film fan, spearheaded an effort that will include locals on a hero-themed panel.

Alicia Crank, of Edmonds, has organized a special International Women’s Day showing of “Captain Marvel.”

Alicia Crank, of Edmonds, has organized a special International Women’s Day showing of “Captain Marvel.”

As someone who doesn’t pay much attention to superhero films, I had no idea the soon-to-open “Captain Marvel” centers on a comic-book character named Carol Danvers — a woman played by Brie Larson.

And who knew about a nationwide drive, the Captain Marvel Challenge, to raise money so 50,000 girls can see the movie for free? “Every girl deserves to know she can be a hero,” is the catchphrase for online fundraising launched by the organization We Have Stories.

I didn’t know any of that. Alicia Crank did.

Thanks to an effort spearheaded by Crank, of Edmonds, and the generosity of donors and local organizations, more than 100 girls in the Edmonds School District and women served by the YWCA will see “Captain Marvel” without cost on March 8, International Women’s Day.

The movie tickets have all been allocated, but Crank is also involved in an International Women’s Day networking “lunch and learn” event. It’s scheduled for 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. March 8 at 190 Sunset, a restaurant in Edmonds. Tickets are $25.

“I wanted to do something in my community for girls and women,” the 44-year-old Crank said. “The other side of it, I’m a huge Marvel Universe fan. When I found out ‘Captain Marvel’ comes out on International Women’s Day, I thought that could be a fun event.”

Crank works for YWCA Seattle/King/Snohomish as a corporate relations officer, but said her push for the film screening is separate from her job. The local YWCA is among sponsors supporting the event at 6 p.m. March 8 at Seattle’s Regal Cinemas Thornton Place 14. Other sponsors are the Riveter, My Neighborhood News Network, the Seattle Storm and Swedish Medical Center, along with a dozen individual donors.

Crank partnered with the Edmonds School District, particularly with Kimberlee Armstrong, the district’s executive director of equity and public relations. “We wanted the audience to be girls and women who may not be able to go to the movies,” Crank said.

Armstrong said the district’s family resource and student support advocates helped identify the girls receiving movie passes. The advocates work with students experiencing homelessness and those with other risk factors. Women going to the film will include some served by the YWCA, which has housing programs in Snohomish County.

The “Captain Marvel” plot, set in the mid-1990s, features Larson as a former Air Force fighter pilot turned hero of the galaxy. There are all kinds of heroes, though — with no superhuman powers required.

Before the movie, Crank said a “hero-themed panel discussion” will give the audience a chance to hear from local women. Scheduled for the panel are: Melissa Beard, senior firefighter with South County Fire; detective Julie Govantes, of the Edmonds Police Department; Shaunta Hyde, managing director, community relations with Alaska Airlines; Lynne Varner, WSU North Puget Sound associate vice chancellor, marketing, strategy and community engagement; and Teresa Wippel, publisher, My Neighborhood News Network.

Around the country, money for “Captain Marvel” tickets is being raised through the GoFundMe website. Crank didn’t approach it that way.

“Word started to spread, and several women in the community reached out to help underwrite it. This started out as a community grassroots effort by Edmonds women,” Crank said.

The audience will include about 60 girls from the school district, another 50 women and girls being served by the YWCA, plus sponsors.

“The Seattle Storm reached out on Friday,” said Crank, adding that the WNBA organization plans to be there with its mascot, “Doppler,” and to give out basketball tickets.

Crank said the cost of buying out one showing of the movie, extra time in the theater for the panel discussion, along with free popcorn and drinks for the audience adds up to nearly $10,000.

“It’s going to be fun,” said Crank, who also runs a consulting business.

As a Marvel fan, she loves the character Storm, played by Halle Berry in “X-Men” films. More though, she values local heroes, those who donated and the panelists.

“They are women leaders and women in our community who are unsung heroes,” Crank said. “We wanted the girls and women in the audience to see that. We all lead in our own different ways.”

Julie Muhlstein: 425-339-3460; jmuhlstein@heraldnet.com.

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