April 16, 2015


LAWT News Service




On Saturday, March 14, UNCF (the United Negro College Fund) along with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti hosted the organization’s fourth annual Mayor’s Masked Ball, celebrating UNCF’s 70th anniversary and honoring local supporters who enable UNCF to get deserving students to and through college.


Civic, business and educational leaders across Southern California gathered at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles and raised $1 million aimed to send young men and women to college.  "This is a fabulous night and there is nothing as fulfilling and no more worthy a cause the to help send a young person to college.  Much of the credit should be given to Curtis Silvers (UNCF-LA Director), the corporate sponsors who have come out and wrote checks to support this evening and the UNCF-LA Advisory Board" stated Assemblymember Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, California Legislative Black Caucus Chair­man. 


Remarks were offered by Amy Wakeland, wife of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who served as Ball Co-Host. Each year, the Los Angeles office raises funds for deserving students through annual events such as the Masked Ball and Walk for Education. Notable donations of the night included a $500,000 contribution from the Ray Charles Foundation and a $25,000 gift from Wells Fargo, to be used for UNCF’s Campaign for Emergency Student Aid (CESA) campaign. In the 2013-2014 academic year, UNCF supported nearly 500 students in Southern California.


Nationally, UNCF supports more than 10,000 scholarships per year under more than 400 programs to students at 900 colleges and universities across the country. Beyond scholarships and grants, the average additional need for scholarship recipients is $20,000.


“We are grateful for the commitment of all of our statewide supporters and the investment they are making in better futures for our students and building a college ready culture here that will ensure a robust pipeline of qualified college graduates,” said Curtis R. Silvers, UNCF Area Development Director.


“This support is the force multiplier that allows us to do work that we do on behalf of our students and HBCUs. We need everyone to buy a ticket and come out to support our young people as they work toward their higher education aspirations.”


Masked Ball Honorees included Founding Sponsor, Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc., and philanthropists Bernard and Shirley Kinsey. This year’s festivities included a VIP reception, the Parade of Stars and Dignitaries, an elegant dinner, and the Parade of Masks, with musical entertainment provided by R&B, jazz and Latin soul band, DW3. Among this year’s celebrity attendees were television and film entertainers Anna Maria Horsford, Dawnn Lewis, Jeffrey Osborne, Jayne Kennedy Overton, Fred Payne, John Sallie, Melinda Williams and Vanessa Williams.

Category: Community