Hey Darling! I recently had the honor of attending the 36th Annual UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball hosted by my beautiful friend Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. As I walked up to the event and entered the lobby of the Atlanta Marriott Marquis it was as if you entered a whimsical Ball for the Royals. The ambiance was amazing, thousands of beautiful melanin divas graced the entry snuggled with their handsome suitors as soft music played for those making their way into the annual event.
As the night began guest were engaged in conversation while enjoying tasty bites, toasting champagne flutes, capturing the moment with a selfie followed by red carpet opts, Procession of Dignitaries and Celebrities. The array of beautiful gowns gracing the red carpet and ball were definitely ones to be admired.
As the night progressed the attendees made their ways to their tables. As the coursed began to be served we were blessed by a prayer from Bishop William Murphy, III followed by the evenings beautiful Mistress of Ceremony, Tamron Hall. We were blessed to hear from some amazing beautiful young ladies who were recipients of UNCF scholarships and as they shared their stories I could relate to growing up in situations that you have no control over yet having that inner yearning and determination to create the life that you desire.
To God Be The Glory! This years event raised over a million dollars for UNCF from donations and silent auction during the evening. The proceeds will be used to helped a plethora of students attend college and assist with their financial needs during their collegiate experience. The Mistress of Ceremonies was by Talk Show Host, Tamron Hall, live entertainment was by Charlie Wilson and Jermaine Dupri received the “Masked Award” for his efforts.
Over the past 75 years, the UNCF (United Negro College Fund) has become a means for more than half a million students aiding them in earning their college degrees. The UNCF to date serves as the largest and most effective minority education organization in the United States and actively supports 37 private historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and advocates for minority higher education. UNCF has been marking the significant milestone via a year-long celebration through its fundraising events across the country and closed this years festivities at the 36th annual Atlanta UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball Dec. 21 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis.
Founded in 1983 by Billye Aaron and Ambassador Andrew Young, the annual event is one of the most highly anticipated Atlanta’s premier holiday season social soiree gathering of the who’s who of the city. Guest included Host Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, city of Atlanta; Dr. Michael L. Lomax, president and CEO, UNCF; event co-chairs Helen Smith Price, president, The Coca-Cola Foundation, and vice president, Global Community Affairs, and Eduardo Martinez, president, The UPS Foundation, and UPS chief diversity and inclusion officer; member institution presidents representing Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse College, Spelman College and The Interdenominational Theological Center; and a host of celebrities and UNCF friends.
This years recipient of the UNCF Masked Award for being a beacon of hope in providing quality education to students of color was Music Mogul, record producer, and songwriter Jermaine Dupri. Dupri, an Atlanta native, has written and produced songs for Musical Legends: Mariah Carey, Monica, Da Brat, Jay-Z, Nas and Ludacris to name a few. In 2018, Dupri was instrumental in the gala’s record-breaking $1.3 million raised by donating $50,000 to help HBCUs and deserving area students.
The evening entertainment was Award-winning R&B recording artist Charlie Wilson, who always brings the house down. There wasn’t a filled seat as “My name is Charlie, Last Name Wilson” took the stage. It felt like a concert in the middle of a ball. That’s just one of the things that I love about Atlanta. It’s so full of energy! The evening was so amazing and unfortunately the only picture of me was this crazy selfie with my mentor, Jamahl King of Stepsevents.
Special thanks to the amazing sponsors who made this beautiful life changing event possible: Marquis sponsors Hank and Billye Aaron and presenting sponsors The Coca-Cola Company, Delta Air Lines, UPS and The Atlanta Marriott Marquis. Special Thanks to Ms. Diane Larche of Larche Communications for this amazing experience.