March 07, 2013
LAWT Wire Services
While candidates were combing the city campaigning for votes during the first weekend of March, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was celebrating the end of his second term at the 2nd Annual Mayors Masked Ball.
Villaraigosa brought the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) fundraiser to Los Angeles in 2012, after it was begun in Atlanta to help raise funds for the Los Angeles Branch of UNCF. The Ball, which imposed a very sophisticated dress code of black tie for men and long evening gowns for the women and face masks was a fun evening for all as the organization paid tribute to longtime UNCF supporters Earvin “Magic” Johnson and television host and comedian Sheryl Underwood.
UNCF National President Dr. Michael L. Lomax was on hand to celebrate the evening. Lomax pointed out that “as the national economy struggles to recover, our students struggle to find the support they need to earn the college degrees that they need and that we need them to have. They count on UNCF for the support they need to complete their education. And UNCF counts on you our supporters to provide funding.”
Curtis Silvers the UNCF Los Angeles area director said he “was very appreciative of everyone in attendance.” He was particularly thankful, he said, of Toyota Motor Sales USA who served as the evening’s founding sponsor as well as Edison International, Mattel and Farmers Insurance Group who were marquis sponsors for the evening. Silvers stated, “This is our premiere event of the year and our largest fundraiser. Tonight would not have been possible without the help of our co-chairs Lisa Cagnolatti of Edison or Carl Ballton of Union Bank, they did an outstanding job along with my board chairperson Carol Jackson of Macy’s and my entire leadership council. Without events such as this one UNCF would not be able to provide the support to the 38 member colleges and universities or the 60,000 students who depend on UNCF for their education.”
R&B group The Whispers provided the night’s entertainment.
“One thing is for sure, the pressure is on the next mayor of the city to step up their game for next year’s event because [Villaraigosa] has brought one of the most enjoyable as well as classiest events to Los Angeles, while at the same time supporting our most sacred institutions,” state Assembly member Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer who attended the event.