UNCF campaign kickoff tonight at Livingstone events center

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 30, 2016

By Laurie D. Willis
Livingstone College News Service

SALISBURY – If you’re looking for an engaging way to spend Friday evening, look no further than Livingstone College’s Events & Hospitality Center for a fun-filled night of music performed by some of Salisbury’s most notable entertainers.

Livingstone College’s 2016-2017 United Negro College Fund Campaign Kickoff will feature Bob Paolino, Rebecca Stinson, Joe Ponds and Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen, as well as good food and door prizes. Doors open tonight at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend the free event.

We invite you to come out Friday night to show your support for education,” said Deborah F. Johnson, Livingstone’s UNCF director. “The United Negro College Fund provides educational opportunities to deserving young men and women who desire to obtain a college education but may not have the financial resources with which to do so. Because there are many students who fall into that category, we need you, the members of Salisbury and surrounding communities, to support this effort and to make a difference by investing in their lives.”

The United Negro College Fund was founded in 1944 and has helped to more than double the number of minority students attending college, according to information on the organization’s website. In fact, the six-year graduation rate for UNCF African-American scholarship recipients is 70 percent – 11 percentage points higher than the national average and 31 percentage points higher than the national average for all African-Americans.

In its 72-year existence, UNCF has raised more than $4.5 billion to help more than 430,000 students attend college, thrive while in school, graduate and become leaders. Each year, more than 10,000 students are awarded scholarships totaling more than $100 million.

There are 37 UNCF member institutions, and Livingstone College is one of them.

Livingstone is very proud to be part of the United Negro College Fund,” Johnson said. “Money raised for UNCF helps with unrestricted needs and student scholarships at our institution, where more than 97 percent of our student body receives some form of financial assistance. That’s why it’s critically important that we have a big turnout on Friday and for any UNCF events we have throughout the year. I really hope the Events & Hospitality Center will be jam packed.”

Last year, people in the Rowan-Salisbury community, as well as individuals in Davidson County, Statesville and Asheboro helped Livingstone exceed its $220,000 UNCF Campaign goal. Johnson said the entire Livingstone College family is grateful for the UNCF support it receives annually from sponsors, alumni and friends of the institution.

Johnson said the college is “especially grateful” for the support given by sponsors for events held during 2015-2016, including Food Lion, Industrial Supply Solutions, Inc., L. D. Melton Insurance, Noble and Kelsey Funeral Home, KMD Construction, Steinman Properties, LLC, United Beverages of N.C., LLC, Bill’s Exterminating Co., Inc., Carroll Fisher Construction Co., Dr. Dennis Wilson, Innospec Active Chemical, LLC, Piedmont Natural Gas, From Start to Finish, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, Edward and Susan Norvell, Dr. Carolyn Anderson, Earle Smith, Willie Jean Kennedy, Ada Hall-Stockton, Phyllis Mahmud, Hazel Kennedy, Price High School National Alumni Association, Peggy DuRante, Barbara Hosch and Levonia Corry.

We hope to see our regular sponsors, potential new sponsors and others on Friday night, and we’re very excited about the musicians that will be performing,” Johnson said. “Each one is great in his or her own right, and we’re appreciative of their willingness to share their talents during this most worthwhile event. Whether you donate $5, $5,000 or more, please know every penny of your support truly makes a difference. And remember, ‘a mind is a terrible thing to waste but a wonderful thing to invest in.’ “

Deborah F. Johnson contributed to this article.