When Sheryl Underwood was asked to perform at Paine College’s 14th annual Scholarship Masked Ball, she was eager to accept.
Underwood, a comedian, philanthropist, radio show host and co-host of The Talk on CBS, hopes to raise awareness and support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities through her work.
She is on a mission to support education through the Pack Rat Foundation for Education. She began developing the effort a few years ago during her last year as the international president of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., she said.
Through the foundation’s HBCU initiative, her goal is to raise funds for all 105 HBCU institutions in addition to awareness by using her resources, her name and various platforms to accomplish the goal.
“I’m going to use it for good and put it to work,” said Underwood.
She also wants to stress the important role HBCUs have played and why people should continue to support the institutions.
“I want people to know the great history,” she said.
Money raised from the masked ball will benefit Paine students in the form of academic scholarships.
“We’re going to party for a purpose,” Underwood said.
The black-tie dinner will be held at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at the Paine College HEAL Complex, 1255 Druid Park Ave., as part of the college’s homecoming activities. Tickets are $100 per person.
Underwood’s performance will reflect her personal experiences and be entertaining, she said.
“I will do what I do on The Talk,” she said describing what the performance will be like. “It will be entertaining and respectful of the institution.”
Also performing will be TuTu D’Vyne, Karen Gordon and the Quiet Storm band. The ball will also feature a juried parade of masks.
To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Paine College Office of Institutional Advancement at (706) 821-8233 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.