FLORENCE, S.C. — The fifth annual Florence/Pee Dee Area Mayor’s Masked Ball will be held Friday at the Florence Center. The proceeds go to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). Mayor Stephen J. Wukela will serve as host.

The event begins with public and private receptions and a silent auction at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and the program at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $125. Tickets are available at uncf.org/florencemmb.

The celebrity guest and emcee for the evening will be Kim Coles, actress, comedienne, author and speaker.

Nearly 600 people are expected to attend, including Pee Dee area UNCF scholars and faculty from South Carolina’s UNCF member schools.

Last year, more than $434,100 was awarded to 52 Pee Dee-area students seeking higher education degrees, according to UNCF.

This year’s honorees championing for a quality education for all include Sonoco (receiving Corporate Masked Award, Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Keels (receiving the Legacy Masked Award) and Henry Tisdale, retired president of Claflin University (receiving the Community Masked Award).

“As we celebrate 75 years of success, it is vital to our community that UNCF continues to forge a path for local students to obtain the college education they deserve and the 21st-century demands,” said Rosalind McGinnis, area development director of UNCF. “UNCF leads the nation in higher education investments in historically black colleges and the students who attend them — second only to the United States government. The work of UNCF in support of these institutions is integral to preparing college graduates to thrive in a highly competitive global marketplace, particularly in the fields of science and technology.”

This year’s sponsors include Sonoco, McLeod Health, Duke Energy and others.

As the largest minority education organization in the United States, UNCF actively supports 37 private historically black colleges and universities and advocates for minority higher education.

For more information or to make a sponsorship, visit UNCF.org/FlorenceMMB.

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