Written by | Ray Cornelius

I had the pleasure of covering the the 32nd Annual UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball Saturday evening in Atlanta and oh what a night! This was my second year attending the UNCF fundraising event and it was just as glamorous and star-studded as last year’s ball. It was also one of the most sought after tickets in the city and I was simply thrilled to be in the number.


Mayor Kasim Reed and First Lady with Chris Tucker and guest

The Mayor’s Masked Ball was started by Atlanta icons Billye S. Aaron (Hank Aaron’s wife) and Ambassador Andrew Young in 1983 and is presented by the city’s current mayor each year. The highly anticipated black-tie affair is supported annually by local corporate companies and civic entities while raising unrestricted dollars for local UNCF students. It also attracts local and national celebrities, dignitaries, and many of the city’s elected officials.


Honoree Dr. Carlton Brown and wife with UNCF CEO and Co-Chairs

This year’s gala was held at the luxurious Marriott Marquis and was co-chaired by corporate rockstars Shan Cooper, Lockhead Martin Aeronautics Company Vice President and Marietta General Manager as well as Jack Sawyer, President Southeast Region Wealth Advisory Group, Wilmington Trust. UNCF President and CEO Dr. Michael Lomax and UNCF Regional Development Director Justine Boyd also honored former HBCU Presidents—Dr. Carlton E. Brown (Clark Atlanta University) and Dr. Beverly Tatum (Spelman College) with this year’s Masked Awards for their years of service to the Atlanta University Center.


Race star Stephan James with Kim Fields and husband Christopher Morgan

The year’s Ball featured a Silent Auction, VIP Reception, Red Carpet, and the show stopping Parade of Masks. Celebrities in attendance included Real Housewives of Atlanta stars Kim Fields and Demetria McKinney, Race actor Stephan James, R&B singers Kelly Price and Tamia, American Crime Story actress Cocoa Brown, comedians George Wallace, Myra J and Don “DC” Curry, filmmaker Roger M. Bobb, and reality stars Dwight Eubanks and Maja Sly. Other celebs in attendance were former NBA players Grant Hill and Dikembe Mutombo, TV and film actress Jasmine Burke, NAACP Image Award nominee and HGTV host Egypt Sherrod, and Married to Medicine duo Dr. Heavenly Kimes and Dr. Damon.


Johnny Gill performing some of his new music

This year’s Ball also featured national recording superstar Johnny Gill. The Grammy-nominated R&B crooner and New Edition member delivered a high-energy performance of his greatest hits including “Fairweather Friend,” “There You Go” from the Boomerang soundtrack, “Where Do We Go From Hear,” LSG’s “My Body,”and his classic slow jam,” My, My, My.”  Gill also performed songs from his new album Game Changer, which he released this year under his label—J Skillz Records.

Check out more images below from the Mayor’s Masked Ball:


UNCF Staff and Co-Chairs with Edwin Moses and Dikembe Mutombo


Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall and wife (right) with friends


Demetria McKinney with Roger M. Bobb


UNCF CEO and Co-Chairs with Egypt Sherrod and husband DJ Fadelf


SHEEN’s Kimberly Chapman and Sammie Haynes with Kim Fields


Mayor’s Masked Ball announcers Karyn Greer and Brenda Wood


Honoree Dr. Beverly Tatum with UNCF and Ambassador Andrew Young 


Kelly Price and guest


The very dapper Dwight Eubanks 


Miss National UNCF with UNCF CEO and Co-Chairs


History meeting History—Hank Aaron and Stephan James


Former EBONY Fashion Fair Model Renee Knorr


George Wallace with “Ms. Nevada” Sylvia Taylor


Stephan JamesRoger M. Bobb and ATL City Council Pres. Ceasar Mitchell


Tamia and Grant Hill


Dr. Damon, Dr. Heavenly Kimes, Saptosa Foster and Jasmine Burke


Kim Fields meeting Race star Stephan James 


George Wallace and his “wife” Myra J 


Jasmine Burke and Stephan James 


UNCF President and CEO Dr. Michael Lomax and daughter Deignan Lomax


Edwin Moses and Stephan James 

Cutting It in the ATL’s Maja Sly and friends


American Crime Story’s Cocoa Brown with Don “DC” Curry


Egypt Sherrod rocking her red dress…My…My…My…

Ladies and Gentleman…JOHNNY GILL!




DSC_0397-2Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com