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A Meaningful Masquerade

UNCF hosted its anticipated annual ball to raise scholarship funds to get local students to college.

John Besh, Host Committee Member UNCF LaJuana Chenier and Ochsner Health System's Warner Thomas

Jeff Strout

The 2016 “UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball” featured dining and décor in the Celestin Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency. Guests were greeted by a lighted red carpet, champagne girls and grand draped entrances. Gold linens, dramatic white ostrich candles and large floral arrangements decorated the ballroom. Guests were decked out in their black-tie finest with accompanying masks to participate in the anticipated UNCF Masked Contest.

Bill Goldring, Chairman of Sazerac Co. and Co-Chairman of Crescent Crown Distributing, received the prestigious UNCF Masked Award 2016 for his dedication and support.

Chairpersons included Michael Smith, General Manager of Hyatt Regency New Orleans and Joel Vilmenay, President and General Manager of WDSU-TV. The Host Committee included The Honorable Mitch Landrieu; Michael Lomax, PhD, President and CEO of UNCF; Therese Badon, Vice President of Development of UNCF; and LaJuana Chenier, Regional Development Director of UNCF. Kevin Frazier, co-host of “Entertainment Tonight,” and Camille Whitworth served as Masters of Ceremonies. Presenting sponsors were LCMC Health and Ochsner Health System.

Celebrity chefs who provided catering included Leah Chase, Alon Shaya, Stephen Stryjewski and Eric Damidot. Dinner music was provided by Davell Crawford. Auctioneer Mark Romig led a buzzing auction, which included a VIP trip to the Ellen DeGeneres Show. There was also a car raffle and a silent auction that included getaway packages and artwork.

The event hosted more than 960 attendees and raised a record $1.85 million.


What: UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball benefiting United Negro College Fund
When: March 12
Where: Hyatt Regency New Orleans


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