UNCF Mayor's Masked Ball to Bring 800-Plus Local Businesses to New Orleans March 12

Chaka Khan Headlines Third Annual New Orleans UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball; “Entertainment Tonight” Co-Host Kevin Frazier to emcee


Media Contacts:
LaJuana Chenier
Regional Development Director

Cynetra McMillian
UNCF Communications


(NEW ORLEANS) — UNCF’s (United Negro College Fund) New Orleans Area Office and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu will host the third annual UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball on Saturday, March 12 at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. Emceed by Kevin Frazier, Co-Host of Entertainment Tonight, the event brings together more than 800 business, civic and education leaders in support of UNCF’s work in providing area students the resources to get to and through college. Presidents from two of the 37 private historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that UNCF supports will also be in attendance:  Dr. Walter M. Kimbrough of Dillard University and Dr. C. Reynold Verret of Xavier University of Louisiana.

Ten-time Grammy® Award winner Chaka Khan will provide entertainment for this signature fundraising event. Known for hits such as “I’m Every Woman,” “Through the Fire” and “I Feel for You,” the legendary Queen of Funk has a career that spans over four decades. In 2011, UNCF recognized her contributions to music and education with the Award of Excellence, UNCF’s highest honor, at the 32nd UNCF An Evening of Stars®.

“We are elated to have long-time UNCF friend and supporter Chaka Khan provide entertainment this year, and we’re grateful for the continued support of Mayor Landrieu and the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. We are guaranteed an electrifying evening in The Big Easy, as we bring supporters and stakeholders together to invest in Better Futures®,” said Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., president and CEO, UNCF.  “A true testament of our mission is Entertainment Tonight co-host and proud HBCU graduate and advocate, Kevin Frazier, serving as emcee—an example of our dividends becoming the next generation of leaders.”

“I’m delighted to be part of one of the city’s premier events,” said Frazier, Hampton University alumnus. “The importance of today’s UNCF cannot be overstated. The mission continues and so does the need for on-going financial support. This is going to be a great party, but it’s also a fantastic way to invest in the dreams and ambitions of some very talented young people.”

The event will be co-chaired by Hyatt Regency New Orleans General Manager, Michael O. Smith, and President and General Manager of WDSU-TV Joel Vilmenay. William Goldring, chairman of Sazerac Company and Crescent Crown Company, will receive the Masked Award for his dedication and support of UNCF’s work. This year’s presenting sponsors are LCMC Health and Ochsner Health System; marquis sponsors: Hyatt Regency New Orleans; Entergy, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Flower;  Mr. and Mrs. Alan Leventhal; and media sponsor, WDSU-TV.

“I am honored to have two of our city’s largest healthcare institutions come together to support this valuable initiative. The joint support of Ochsner and LCMC will not only allow hundreds of local students to remain in college, but through internships and development opportunities, will further enhance our efforts to grow and retain top talent here in New Orleans,” said Mayor Landrieu.

The event will feature a VIP reception, silent auction, 2016 Nissan Maxima Car raffle donated by Supreme Automotive and dinner provided by award-winning celebrity chefs Leah Chase of Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, 2016 Recipient of the James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award; Alon Shay of Shaya Restaurant, James Beard Award Recipient; Stephen Stryjewski, James Beard Award Recipient; and Eric Damidot of the Hyatt Regency New Orleans.

For sponsorship or ticket information, please visit UNCF.org/nolamaskedball.  Follow this event on social media: @uncf #MMBNOLA #UNCF



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 UNCF.org or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Twitter at @UNCF.

About Hyatt Regency New Orleans
Located just steps away from the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in the heart of downtown New Orleans, Hyatt Regency New Orleans is a AAA four-diamond hotel and preferred destination for travelers, boasting 1,193 guestrooms, including 95 suites and four presidential suites. The hotel offers nine innovative culinary options including 8 Block Kitchen & Bar, 8 Block Addendum, Vitascope Hall, Q Smokery & Cafe, Pizza Consegna, Bywater Pool Deck & Bar, and Borgne Restaurant, by award-winning Chef John Besh. With 200,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, top quality finishes, and breathtaking city views, Hyatt Regency New Orleans is the premier hotel destination in the Big Easy. For more information or to book a reservation, visit www.neworleans.hyatt.com or call 504.561.1234.