Record $1.85 Million Raised for Scholarships at New Orleans UNCF Mayor's Masked Ball

Media Contact:
Cynetra McMillian
UNCF Communications


NEW ORLEANS—A record $1.85 million including revenue and in-kind support was raised for scholarships at the March 12 New Orleans UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball. More than 900 business, civic and education leaders, UNCF President and CEO Dr. Michael L. Lomax and presidents from two of the 37 private historically black colleges and universities that UNCF supports, Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough of Dillard University and Dr. C. Reynold Verret of Xavier University of Louisiana, attended the third annual ball at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. UNCF’s New Orleans local office and Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu hosted the special evening to assist students in getting to and through college.

“The commitment of Mayor Mitch Landrieu to UNCF’s mission is commendable,” Lomax said. “The success of our young people rely heavily on our local partnerships and pays dividends when they become future leaders in our communities.”

William Goldring, chairman of Sazerac Co. and co-chairman of Crescent Crown Distributing, received the prestigious Masked Award for his dedication and support of UNCF’s work.

Parade of Masks
Parade of Masks

The event was emceed by HBCU graduates Kevin Frazier, co-host of “Entertainment Tonight” and Camille Whitworth, co-anchor of WDSU, and 10-time Grammy® Award winner Chaka Khan provided entertainment. A VIP reception, silent auction and 2016 Nissan Maxima car raffle donated by Supreme Automotive were part of the program. Dinner featured offerings from award-winning celebrity chefs Leah Chase of Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, 2016 recipient of the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award; Alon Shay, Shaya Restaurant, James Beard Award recipient; Stephen Stryjewski, Cochon Restaurant, James Beard Award recipient; and Eric Damidot of the Hyatt Regency New Orleans.

Co-chairs of the event were Michael O. Smith, Hyatt Regency New Orleans general manager, and Joel Vilmenay, president and general manager of WDSU-TV. Presenting sponsors were LCMC Health and Ochsner Health System; marquis sponsors were Hyatt Regency New Orleans, Entergy, Donna and Paul Flower, and Sherry and Alan Leventhal; and media sponsor WDSU-TV.


About UNCF
UNCF (the United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 21 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, ‟A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”® Learn more at or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.