UNCF Twin Cities Masked Ball raises more than $700K

Melvin Carter
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter in a Black Panther mask Atomic K. Studios

College-bound African American students got a significant boost this weekend from fundraising efforts of the Minneapolis United Negro College Fund (UNCF). The Twin Cities regional office raised more than $700,000 towards student scholarships at its sixth annual Twin Cities Masked Ball hosted at the U.S. Bank Stadium, Saturday, May 12.

More than 500 business, civic leaders, public officials, alumni and supporters attended the black-tie affair, including UNCF president and CEO Dr. Michael L. Lomax, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, and Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter, III.

“The UNCF Masked Ball is one of the Twin Cities’ signature fundraising galas and premier social events of the year,” Laverne McCartney Knighton, area development director, told the MSR.

UNCF Twin Cities
Gala attendee Atomic K. Studios

“For more than 70 years, UNCF has been a vital partner in preparing underrepresented students to led healthy, productive and engaged lives,” Carter said in a press statement. “Their work continues to lift members of our community to ensure that the future of our region and our nation is bright.”

According to McCartney Knighton, the event’s fundraising efforts kick off the regional office’s fiscal year. “In the 2016-17 school year, the national UNCF awarded 130 scholarships totaling more than $1.5M to students from Minnesota,” she said. “Funds raised from the gala go to support UNCF-member HBCUS and the Hope Scholarship.”

The Hope Scholarship specifically awards qualifying African American students from the Twin Cities metro area with up to $7,500 in scholarships towards a four-year college degree.

The event also honored Twin Cities’ leaders for their work in education. The gala honored two Masked Award recipients during the dinner: Kaywin Feldman, Nivin and Duncan MacMillian director and president of the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia), and the Target Corporation.

For information on scholarships and deadlines, visit uncf.org/scholarships.

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