$100K Raised at Annual Rochester Mayor’s Luncheon Benefiting UNCF

During the past 75 years, UNCF has helped nearly half a million students earn college degrees. As it marks such a major milestone, UNCF New York celebrated its impact at its 6th annual Rochester Mayor’s HBCU College Fair and Luncheon on Nov. 18 at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center. Nearly 1,500 students attended the Rochester HBCU College Fair, where over 300 students were admitted to HBCUs, and more than $3 million awarded in scholarships.

“We are thankful for partners such as Mayor Lovely A. Warren, for hosting these events for the 6th consecutive year,” said Diego Aviles, vice president of fund development in the UNCF northern region. The event reached new fundraising heights, raising $100,000 in support of UNCF’s work in Rochester and with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

The success of the remarkable day was largely due to the overwhelming support from 200-plus luncheon attendees, including sponsors Delta Air Lines, JP Morgan & Chase and the ESL Foundation. Other notable attendees included great-granddaughter of Booker T. Washington and the great-great-granddaughter of Frederick Douglass, Nettie Washington Douglass; and Kenneth Morris, Jr., president and co-founder of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives.

“If there is not an avenue for emerging scholars of color, then we make one. Today you are doing exactly that.” — HBCU scholar Nya Thompson

“Delta’s commitment to New York is about more than providing exceptional service in the skies and on the ground,” said Katie Carroll, the national sales account executive for Delta Air Lines. “We’re also committed to organizations like UNCF that are near and dear to the hearts of New Yorkers. Delta people are proud to make a difference in the Upstate communities where our customers and employees live, work and serve.”

UNCF and Mayor Warren paid tribute to two champions within the Rochester community with its Frederick Patterson Award: Eric and Michelle Daniels, key supporters of the legacy of the honorable Frederick Douglass. The Daniels are committed to improving the quality of life for the citizens of Rochester, while helping to preserve the city’s rich history. As a volunteer at Rochester’s School Number 12, Michelle Daniels implemented initiatives and programs to engage students and their parents about the work of Frederick Douglass. She was eventually offered employment at the school to continue her efforts. The Daniels’ continuous involvement in the community also resulted in a donation of Douglass’s autobiography, The Narrative of Frederick Douglass, and hosting an event to honor the legacy of Frederick Douglass at their home for the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives Foundation’s first event since the relocation of the foundation’s headquarters to Rochester.

“Eric and Michelle Daniels have made a tremendous impact in Rochester through their support of various educational and cultural initiatives,” said Mayor Lovely A. Warren. “They have made it their mission to ensure that our young people understand the struggles and success of our community’s ancestors, so that they realize that they, too, can overcome obstacles and achieve their goals and dreams. I want to thank UNCF for honoring the Daniels, and for their ongoing efforts to help Rochester youth attend college through the HBCU College Fair.”

The Mayor’s Luncheon also included testimonials from HBCU scholar Nya Thompson, and keynote speaker Dr. Elfred Anthony Pinkard, president of UNCF-member institution Wilberforce University.

“Not only I am proud to be from Rochester attending college out of state, but I’m even more elated to bring my experiences back to the community that has a hand in raising me,” said Thompson. “The purpose of events like this luncheon is to pay it forward. If there is not an avenue for emerging scholars of color, then we make one. Today you are doing exactly that. Helping to create brighter futures for the students of Rochester. On behalf of the more than 1,400 students who are at the college fair right now, please know how grateful we are for your generosity and support.”

Since its founding, UNCF has raised more than $5 billion and has helped more than half a million students earn degrees at UNCF-member HBCUs.

See highlights from this event using #UNCFNY #UNCFRochesterNY.