UNCF New Orleans Mayor’s Masked Ball: Party with a Purpose, or a Purpose…with a Party? You Decide!

There’s just one question relating to UNCF’s New Orleans Mayor’s Masked Ball. Is it a party with a purpose, as the New Orleans Tribune puts it? Or a purpose…with a party? The evidence is below. You make up your mind.

The Masked Ball’s a party with a purpose. If there’s one thing New Orleans knows, it’s how to throw a party—and UNCF’s New Orleans Mayor’s Masked Ball scores in every category, obvious from all the fun attendees had at the 2018 ball in March. High-energy emcees, award-winning journalist Tamron Hall and comedian Jonathan Slocumb—check. Elegant dining provided by celebrity chefs—check. An exciting car raffle—check. A stylish parade of masks—check. And great entertainment by jazz vocalist Stephanie Jordan and the Grammy Hall of Fame inductees the legendary O’Jays—check and check. Not to mention silent and live auctions, dancing, mixing, mingling and an elegant dining experience—all in one fine evening sandwiched in between Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest.

The Masked Ball’s a purpose—with a party. Everybody knows the purpose: to raise the funds UNCF’s member HBCUs need to give their students the education the current job market demands. And thanks to Masked Ball chairs Hyatt Regency General Manager Michael O. Smith and WDSU-TV President and General Manager Joel Vilmenay, and presenting sponsor Ochsner Health System, that’s exactly what the event did. The 2018 event brought in $1.7 million in cash and in-kind donations to help hundreds of students at our member HBCUs, Dillard University and Xavier University of Louisiana. In fact, Dillard University President Walter Kimbrough says that from the UNCF New Orleans Mayor’s Masked Ball alone, DU has received more than $1 million for student scholarships over the past four years.

The event helps UNCF provide scholarships to students like Morghan Hudson, a junior from Baton Rouge, majoring in chemistry and pre-med at Xavier University of Louisiana. “It’s been a great thing,” says Hudson. “It has taken a burden off of my family, and I have been able to focus on my studies. I have had the opportunity to network with the people from UNCF and other organizations and meet new people.”

So what’s the verdict? Is the UNCF New Orleans a party with a purpose or a purpose with a party? Or is it both, at once?

Need more evidence? Why not attend? Then you can decide for yourself. Watch UNCF.org/Houston for the next event announcements.