UNCF Atlanta hosted its 37th annual Mayor’s Masked Ball on Dec. 19 to raise money for HBCUs and their students.

According to a press release, the organization’s pivot to a first-ever virtual fundraiser recruited the help of actress Lynn Whitfield — who served as mistress of ceremonies — and producer Jermaine Dupri — who offered a special performance — to support its cause.

Even in the middle of a pandemic, UNCF Atlanta’s digital event — hosted by Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms — managed to successfully raise over $800,000, all while raising awareness around the importance of supporting HBCUs.

“2020 has been a challenging year, so much as changed but our mission has remained the same,” UNCF regional development director, Justine Boyd, said in a statement. “The Mayor’s Masked Ball has always been our largest event of the year. Creating an experience that would bring the familiarity of the “live” ball with the comfort and safety of a large gathering was the challenge.”

The online fundraiser — sponsored by The Coca-Cola Company, Global Payments, The Home Depot, Truist Securities, and UPS — was complete with featured entertainment, virtual red carpet photo ops, and a silent auction.

The event also unveiled the 2020 UNCF Billye Suber Aaron Masked Award Honorees which included Eduardo Martinez — president of The UPS Foundation — and Helen Smith Price, VP of global community affairs, and president of the Coca-Cola Foundation.

The grand annual fundraising gala is held every year as a major social event to rally contributions for HBCUs and emphasize the need for a college education.

Charles J. Johnson — managing director, Entertainment Industries Group Truist Securities — and Andrea Carter — senior EVP, CHRO at Global Payments — both served as the event’s co-chairs.

For those that missed the live event, the UNCF Atlanta Mayor’s Masked Ball presented by Chick-fil-A will reportedly air on WXIA TV 11 Dec. 29 at 11 a.m. and WATL TV Dec. 30 at 8 p.m.


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For more information about how to donate to UNCF Atlanta’s cause, click here.