Chicago UNCF Local Office Raises OVER $500,000 AT “A MIND IS . . .” GALA

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More than 500 guests attended the Chicago UNCF local office “A Mind Is…” Gala on Saturday, June 25, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Hosted by Mike and Kristina McGrath, president and vice president, respectively, of McGrath Automotive Group, this annual fundraising event raised over $500,000 in providing Illinois students with the necessary resources to get to and through college.

More than 500 guests attended the Chicago UNCF local office “A Mind Is…” Gala on Saturday, June 25, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Hosted by Mike and Kristina McGrath, president and vice president, respectively, of McGrath Automotive Group, this annual fundraising event raised over $500,000 in providing Illinois students with the necessary resources to get to and through college. Terrell Brown, morning anchor at ABC 7 Eyewitness News, served as emcee.

Hundreds of business, civic and education leaders including Dr. Michael L. Lomax, UNCF’s president and CEO, came together for this signature black-tie event. Support from sponsors BMO Harris Bank, ITW, Gary and Denise Gardner Family Foundation and Hyatt along with many other committed donors, helped raise an additional $120,000.

“A college education, which was a good-to-have, is now a must-have, a virtual requirement for jobs and careers that support families and communities,” said Lomax.

“Last year alone, UNCF awarded almost $4 million, 267 scholarships to Illinois students, continuing our efforts to equip the next generation with the tools to be successful—ensuring a better world for us all.”

This year’s event honored several leaders who have had a positive impact on the Illinois community. The Harold H. Hines, Jr. Benefactor’s Award was given to BMO Harris Bank, accepted by David Casper, president and CEO of the bank. The “A Mind Is” Award for dedication to and support of UNCF’s work was given to Deirdre C. Drake, senior vice president, U.S. Cellular; Gary and Denise Gardner of the Gary and Denise Gardner Family Foundation; Quintin E. Primo, III, chairman and CEO, Capri Investment Group; Diane Primo, founder and chairman, Intralink Global; Louis Carr, president media sales, BET; and Diane Dinkins Carr, president, DDC Consulting Group.

The event was chaired by Tyronne Stoudemire, vice president of global diversity and inclusion for Hyatt Corp. “At the Hyatt Corporation, we care about our communities and thus are unwavering in our commitment in investing in better futures,” said Stoudemire. “It was a pleasure to partner with UNCF allowing us to provide the resources for the next generation to be the best version of themselves.”

The crowd was treated to a night filled with electrifying entertainment including three-time Grammy®-nominated recording artist Angie Stone. Additional entertainment was provided by hometown songstress Terisa Griffin, pianists Ashton and Ryan Clark and Elizabeth Norman-Sojourner.

The event featured a VIP reception hosted by LeeAnn Trotter, entertainment reporter at NBC 5; a live auction; student testimonials; and elegant dinner and dancing.

To view images from this event, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/ChicagoAMI

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.

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Cynetra Mcmillian
UNCF
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