In an era of inexplicable dwindling federal and state support for the invaluable urban treasures known as Historically Black Colleges and Universities, galas such as annual UNCF Atlanta Mayor’s Masked Ball become even more paramount in the perpetuation of these hallowed institutions of higher learning.
Subsequently, city leaders and others proudly announce that the 32nd edition of the exclusive soiree raised more than $1 million to help students attend HBCUs, particularly in the city of Atlanta, the Mayor’s Office reports.
Dignitaries such as Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed takes this personally. He is a byproduct of an HBCU and translated that into an auspicious career as a lawyer, state Senator and CEO of one of America’s premiere metropolises.
“The multi-year partnership and support from Mayor Reed—himself a proud HBCU alumnus–and the contributions of time and treasure from sponsors, volunteers, and attendees made this 32nd annual Mayor’s Masked Ball the smashing success that it was, and will translate into more than $1.1 million in support for UNCF’s member institutions and scholarships for their students,” said Dr. Michael Lomax, president and CEO of the UNCF. “And that’s just part of what UNCF invests in Atlanta and Georgia. UNCF awards 774 scholarships worth over $10 million to Georgia students each year, and almost 400 scholarships, worth $3.5 million, to Atlanta students. That support is a generous helping hand for deserving young men and women and a wise investment in better futures for our students, and, through their success, for all of us.”
This year’s UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball attracted more than 1,400 attendees, including entertainers from film, television and music, major sports figures, elected officials and civic leaders and volunteers. Mayor Kasim Reed and Dr. Michael Lomax began the evening with a VIP Reception. Following the VIP reception, was the signature Parade of Stars and Dignitaries, an elegant dinner, silent auction and the Parade of Masks. Dancing followed as guests enjoyed musical entertainment by legendary national recording Johnny Gill.
Co-chairs for this year’s ball were Shan Cooper, Vice President of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, and Jack Sawyer, President of the Southeast Region Wealthy Advisory Group, Wilmington Trust. The Marquis Sponsors for the ball included the Coca Cola Company, Delta Air Lines and UPS.
In just the past eight years, UNCF’s Atlanta Mayor’s Masked Ball has raised almost $10 million to support students who attend Atlanta’s four UNCF member institutions – Clark Atlanta University, the Interdenominational Theological Center, Morehouse College and Spelman College—Atlanta students attending other UNCF colleges and universities, and all the 60,000 students who attend UNCF member institutions.