On Friday night, Philadelphia hosted its inaugural United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Mayor’s Masked Ball at the Marriott Downtown. The UNCF has hosted these balls throughout the country, but this was the first time they held one in Philly, and they put the whole thing together in less than two months. It was very impressive. Pictured: Mayor Michael Nutter and First Lady Lisa Nutter.
The UNCF provides scholarships for 60,000 students attending 900 colleges and universities. It also provides financial assistance to 38 higher-education schools in its network, all of which are historically black colleges and universities. I completely forgot to ask Mrs Nutter what dress she was wearing, but it was breathtaking.
Below: UNCF president and chief executive Michael Lomax on the red carpet with the singer of “Me and Mrs. Jones,” Billy Paul, and his wife, Blanche.
Below: Emcees for the evening, Fox 29’s Sheinelle Jones, and CBS 3’s Beasley Reece.
Below: Ball co-chairs, Carol C. Lawrence, of PNC, and Craig L. Adams, of PECO. (The third co-chair, Robert W. Bogle, of the Philadelphia Tribune, is not pictured.)
Below: Lori Wilson, NBC10, and Carvin Haggins, owner of Carvin & Ivan Productions.
Below: Desiree Peterkin-Bell, from the city’s communications office, and Elka Battle, city reps office. Desiree tells me that the city is working on the The Philadelphia Collection, and although Fashion Night Out has been canceled nationally, look for Philadelphia to carry on with something special in its place.
Below: Bernard and Audrey Thornton, Belmont Mansion. Audrey tells me that the Belmont Mansion is the sight of Pennsylvania’s first national Underground Railroad Museum station.
Below: Rakia Reynolds, Skai Blue Media, and Bram Reynolds. The following day, at the Madam CJ Walker 100 Black Women Luncheon held at the Loews, Rakia was given a PECO Power to the Community Award.
Below: Ben Gilbert, Wanda Lewis-Campbell, assistant dean at Temple University’s Ambler campus, and Craig Campbell.
Below: Khaleelah Edge and Geronda Montalvo. Geronda benefited from a UNCF scholarship, and it’s her mission to get the word out to lower-income families that these opportunities are available. She has an undergrad degree from Clark Atlanta University, and is now a PhD candidate at Penn.
Below: Christine Eva, a singer-songwriter originally from New Zealand, and the Fresh Princess, rapper Bria Marie.
Below: Anna Bostic, Body Sanctuary Day Spa, and Earl Harvey, Black Professionals News.
Below: Denise Henderson and Roger J. Lundy Jr., R. J. Lundy & Associates Financial Services.
Below: Mariska Bogle, Rosalyn McPherson and Frances M. Jones.
Below: Richard Negrin, Deputy Mayor, with wife Karen Negrin, and sister Margie.
Below: Ramona Riscoe Benson and Megan Smith, Brownstone PR and founder of Dancing With the Philadelphia Stars. (Philly Mag’s Carrie Denny is participating in the April 21st event, along with Fox 29’s Kacie McDonnell, the Constitution Center’s Alison Young, Mr. Philadelphia Al Lee and more.)
Below: What an honor it was to meet these two Tuskegee Airmen, Eugene Richardson and John L. Harrison.
Below: Sheinelle Jones and Beasley Reese introduce honoree for the evening, Councilwoman Marian Tasco. Other honorees included Gregory T. Burrell, and Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church.
Below: The parade of VIPs included Kathy Sledge, who waved to guests as she entered the room. After a delicious dinner, there was a masquerade parade, and then the dance floor was open with Urban Guerilla Orchestra keeping guests moving all night long.