UNCF-New Orleans Mayor’s Masked Ball Marks Fifth Year

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The 2018 United Negro College Fund-New Orleans Mayor’s Masked Ball is destined to be unforgettable. Now in its fifth year, the elegant, yet fun-filled night will include the sounds of the legendary O’Jays, the comedic styling of Johnathan Slocomb and more entertainment by New Orleans’ own Stephanie Jordan. Add to that, 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—and it is easy to see why the annual event is one of the hottest tickets in town.

Over the last ten years, UNCF-New Orleans has provided financial assistance to more than 1,000 students, with more than 120 students receiving scholarships from UNCF New Orleans during the 2015-2016 school year. Last year, the sold-out ball raised $1.7 million, with nearly 1,000 business, civic and education leaders joining Mayor Mitch Landrieu in supporting the event. This year’s ball takes place on March 17 at the Hyatt Regency. Tickets and sponsorships are still available. More information can be found on the UNCF-New Orleans website.

This year, UNCF-New Orleans is hoping to exceed last year’s Masked Ball fundraising total.

“What we do each year is try to meet the goal or beat the goal from the previous year,” says Therese Badon, UNCF-New Orleans’ vice president of development. “The reason for that is that the need is even greater. You see what’s happening in the economy, in the world. What we know is that our students need us more, so that support has to continue.”

It is hard work, but the local UNCF staff is up for the challenge.

“There is only one Fortune 500 company in New Orleans (UNCF sponsor, Entergy), so we have to tap into our small businesses,” Badon says. “We reach out to every organization and group.” 

Despite the success of the ball and other fundraisers, UNCF can only help one out of 10 students who apply for scholarships, which means every contribution counts and more are needed. For anyone not able to support UNCF-New Orleans by attending this year’s ball or participating in the Walk later this year, making a donation is in the palm of your hands. Smart phone users can contribute $25 by texting UNCFNO to 50555. Donations can be made online at www.uncf.org/neworleans.