UNCF and Civic Leaders Prepare for Chicago’s Inaugural UNCF Masked Ball

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Chicagoland residents, business and civic leaders gather at gala in support of higher education; aim to bring students "to AND through college."

UNCF (United Negro College Fund), the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization, proudly announces its first Chicago Masked Ball to be held Saturday, June 15, 2013 at 6 p.m. The event represents an exciting new branded event to continue the legacy of UNCF’s Black and White Ball, created to bring together Chicago’s corporate, philanthropic and civic communities to raise funds to help deserving students attend college and support UNCF’s 38 member HBCUs. Over 12 years, the Ball raised more than $9 million and hosted 600 people annually.

“UNCF is grateful to Mayor Emanuel for hosting this wonderful event that brings together people who care so much about ensuring we continue to provide students with the education they need, and that we need them to have,” said Michael L. Lomax, Ph.D., UNCF’s president and CEO. “Over the last 40 years, UNCF has established deep roots in the Chicago community and has significantly impacted the city’s students. The investment we are making in these young people now will pay dividends for all of us in the future.”

The black-tie soiree will be held at the Chicago Marriott – Magnificent Mile and chaired by Anne Pramaggiore, President and Chief Executive Officer of ComEd. Honorary Co-Chairpersons include The Honorable Pat Quinn, Governor, State of Illinois; The Honorable Toni Preckwinkle, President, Cook County Board of Commissioners; and The Honorable Rahm Emanuel, Mayor, City of Chicago. This event celebrates local scholarship supporters who are playing an active role in sending Chicago’s children to college.

This year’s festivities will begin with a VIP reception for sponsors, followed by the signature Parade of Dignitaries, an elegant dinner and the Parade of Masks. Dancing will follow with musical entertainment provided by legendary R&B recording group, Zapp. A “Best Mask Award” will be presented at conclusion of the evening.

The prestigious UNCF Legacy Award will honor the work of Dr. Mildred C. Harris, Founder and Pastor, God First Church and Ministries and the Harold H. Hines, Jr. Benefactor’s Award will go to Illinois Tool Works (ITW).

UNCF maintains a strong commitment to improving the quality of life for the Chicagoland community and for advocating the importance of higher education for minority students. Through the implementation of 12 workplace campaigns – including one from Chicago Public Schools (the largest UNCF employee fundraising campaign in the country, celebrating its 40th year of operation), as well as corporate, foundation and individual campaigns, UNCF has raised more than $11 million. These programs directly align with UNCF’s mission of creating a college-going culture that brings students to and through college. Event proceeds will support Chicago students in pursuit and completion of their college education.

Chicago’s Masked Ball also coincides with the launch of UNCF’s Better Futures campaign – the organization’s first PSA campaign in five years – which encourages donors and volunteers to think of their support for UNCF not as charity, but as a contribution that will yield tangible benefits to graduates, their community and the country. Better Futures features two Chicago Public Schools graduates, both of whom are recipients of UNCF/Chicago Public Schools scholarships. UNCF also features an expanded version of its iconic motto – the mantra is now, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in,” to relay a strong call to action for the public to invest funds and/or time in students’ success. Since its inception more than four decades ago, the “A Mind Is…” PSA campaign has generated $3.5 billion in contributions that has enabled UNCF to help more than 300,000 students earn college degrees at UNCF member HBCUs and with UNCF scholarships.

For information about sponsorship and ticket availability, please contact the Chicago UNCF office at 312-845-2200.

For media inquiries, please contact Joi Ridley of UNCF Communications at 202-810-0225 or Joi.Ridley(at)uncf(dot)org

About UNCF
UNCF (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 more than 60,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country. UNCF supports education through scholarships and other programs, by supporting its 38 member colleges and universities, and by advocating for the importance of minority education and college readiness. UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 20 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. The UNCF logo features the torch of leadership in education and UNCF’s widely recognized motto, "A mind is a terrible thing to waste."® Learn more at http://www.UNCF.org.

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