UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball Raises $1.3 Million the Most in 33 YearsUsher, Tyrese, Young Jeezy, Future and Ludacris Donate $25,000 EachSold Out Premier Holiday Event Enjoys Electrifying Performance by Sheila E.
The 33rd Annual UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball raised more than $1.3 million for HBCU students, surpassing all other years since its founding in 1983. With a little help from celebrity friends, actor, singer Tyrese Gibson led the mission call assisting in raising $200,000 pledging $25,000 himself and Usher Raymond, Young Jeezy, Future and later Ludacris followed his lead each giving $25,000.
The sold out formal affair, UNCF’s signature fundraising gala and premier social event of the holiday season, had more than 1,500 in attendance at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis on Saturday. Mayor Kasim Reed and UNCF President and CEO Dr. Michael L. Lomax, Executive Vice President Maurice Jenkins and Regional Development Director Justine Boyd were hosts.
Brannigan Thompson, senior vice president, Voya Financial and Donta’ Wilson, senior executive vice president and chief client experience officer, BB&T were honorary co-chairs. “We are overwhelmingly excited and filled with gratitude for all who supported our 33rd annual ball. A milestone was reached raising more than ever before at 1.3 million for HBCU students.
We thank Mayor Kasim Reed and the citizens of Atlanta and our corporate sponsors who are to be commended for helping us to make this the best year ever in support of our 37 UNCF member colleges and universities, four of which are right here in Atlanta, said Justine Boyd, UNCF Regional Development Director. Entertainment for the event was provided by world class drummer, percussionist and recording artist Sheila E. who opened with Prince’s Erotic City and performed her songs including Love Bazaar and Glamorous Life and The Clark Atlanta Jazz Orchestra.
Comedian, actor and radio personality J. Anthony Brown was master of ceremonies. Egypt Sherrod, HGTV host of “Flipping Virgins” and “Property Virgins” hosted the red carpet.
Celebrities, dignitaries and influencers in attendance in addition to Usher, Tyrese, Future and Young Jeezy were: Hank and Billye Aaron, Ambassador Andrew Young and Carolyn Young, Vashawn Mitchell, Lamman Rucker, Angie Stone, Dr. Heavenly Kimes, Dr. Jackie Walters , Genise Shelton, Pearl Cleage, Steie Baggs, Jr. , Kore Stacks, Dr. Yamma Brown, Reece Odum, Roger Bobb, Ryan Glover, Catherine Brewton, Avery Sunshine, Phaedra Parks, Q Parker, Maria Boynton, Si Man, Miss National UNCF Taylor Cooper.
College past and present presidents in attendance represented Clark Atlanta, ITC, Morehouse, Spelman, Rust, Talladega, Wiley, Johnson C. Smith, Shaw University, Huston-Tillotson, FAMU, Atlanta Metropolitan College and Morehouse School of Medicine.
UNCF is helping to prepare young men and women for the work force by providing assistance for text books and other college costs. As a result of the success of the UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball Atlanta, thousands of students have a brighter future because of the support they have received. More than 600 students in the past few years attending UNCF member schools were either able to attend college and or continue their college education without interruption of financial challenges.
Started 33 years ago by former Mayor Andrew Young and Billye S. Aaron, the Ball is hosted by the city’s current Mayor and is largely supported by local corporate and civic entities. A much anticipated holiday event that raises unrestricted dollars for UNCF’s support for local students, the Ball attracts a diverse array of attendees from across the metropolitan area, including local celebrities, dignitaries, civic and elected officials.
Ball highlights included the performance by Sheila E, The VIP Masked Award Reception, Silent Holiday Auction, and Red Carpet Parade of Stars, Dignitaries and Dividends, Elegant Dining, Parade of Masks, Dancing and Live entertainment. Masked Awards Honoree for 2016 are: Ed Baker, Former Editor, Atlanta Business Chronicle; Erica Qualls-Beatty – General Manager – Atlanta Marriott Marquis; Shan Cooper, Chief Transformation Officer, WestRock; Tommy Dortch, Jr., President.
TWD, Incorporated and D. Jack Sawyer, Jr., President, Wilmington Trust, Southern Region. Marquis Sponsors of the 2016 UNCF Atlanta Mayor’s Masked Ball are: The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Airlines, UPS, The Home Depot and the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.