UNCF 27th Annual “A Mind is…” Gala to Celebrate Houston’s Commitment to Minority Education

UNCF is $70K away from meeting 2015 fundraising goal

Jo-Carolyn Goode | 11/5/2015, 11:52 a.m.
The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) will hold its annual “A Mind is…” Gala at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. ...

HOUSTON (November 4, 2015) – The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) will hold its annual “A Mind is…” Gala at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21 in the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton Americas. The black tie event spotlights students, donors and UNCF member schools who embody the organization’s shared commitment to minority education. Net proceeds benefit UNCF’s member colleges and their common goal to continuously enroll low-income and minority students both locally and nationally.

The goal set for this year’s gala is $500,000. To date, UNCF has raised $430,000 and is asking for business leaders, corporations and individuals in Houston to help them with the remaining $70,000 through sponsorship opportunities. Sponsor packages range from $5,000 to $100,000 and benefits include a premiere, priority or general table for you and your guests, as well as recognition at the event in related advertising and promotional materials.

Changing the face of education for over 71 years and honoring those who have helped blaze the path, this annual celebration raises funds to ensure UNCF sends more young students to college. Bringing together over 600 friends and supporters of UNCF including board members, college presidents, corporate partners, students and alumni we affirm, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in.”

Since 1944, UNCF nationally has raised more than three billion dollars and helped more than 400,000 students secure college degrees. Each year, in addition to supporting its member institutions and their students, UNCF awards 10,000 scholarships and advocates for low-income and minority students to receive a good education from preschool through college graduation.

“By investing in this event, you can help build a pipeline of educated minority students from Houston who will become tomorrow’s business leaders, medical professionals, educators and community advocates. Our investment today is an investment in the next generation,” Jeffrey Webber, UNCF leadership council chair, says.

The money given by individuals and companies gives people like Angelica Erazo the opportunity to achieve her goals. Angelica was one of five co-founders of Green is the New Black, a group of Huston-Tilltson students that launched an international campaign to promote environmental awareness among minorities. The group won $75,000 for their project and donated $25,000 to a local Texas elementary school and taught the students about community gardening. Erazo said the remaining funds were divided among the five students for scholarships.

Honored at the gala will be Ann Best, vice president of Board Development & Recruitment at Raise Your Hand Texas, who will receive the John and Drucie Chase Young Builders Award and Gerald and Anita Smith, community leaders and education advocates, who will be accepting the Excellence in Education Award. The 2015 Honorary Chairs are Doug and Sarah Foshee. Doug served as the President and Chief Executive Officer at El Paso Corporation and is now the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer, of Sallyport Investments, LLC. Sarah a graduate of University of Texas, Galveston/Medical Branch is an anesthesiologist. Together the couple has four kids.

The gala is chaired by Colleen Dippel, founder and executive director of Families Empowered and Laurie Vignaud, senior vice president of CRA Business Development for Capital One Bank. The gala attracts over 150 donors, including Fortune 100 corporations, executives, prominent education advocates and notable civic and community leaders.

To obtain a sponsorship package, or for more information on this event, please contact Juana Collins, UNCF area development director, at 713-942-8623 or via email Juana.collins@uncf.org.

About UNCF

UNCF (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, strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education. 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 900 colleges and universities across the country. Learn more at www.UNCF.org. Donations can be sent to UNCF’s Houston office: 723 Main Street, Houston, TX 77002 or at http://give.uncf.org/Houston.