Now in its 29th year, the annual Black & White Ball proved to be a huge financial success, raising nearly $307,000 in net proceeds to support the work and the programs of the Milwaukee Urban League.
The ball is the organization’s signature fundraiser, having generated more than $4.8 million over nearly three decades. The Milwaukee Urban League is now in its 95th year of operation.
Eighteen major sponsors provided early and substantial support for this year’s event which welcomed a crowd of nearly 800 guests to the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Five companies presented special gifts at the ball, bringing in another $190,000 in ball funds.
Guests also helped boost the evening’s revenues, contributing more than $25,000 through their participation in a silent auction and a special laptop donation effort.
Proceeds from the evening’s laptop contributions will now be directed toward new laptops for high achieving, college-bound students in the League’s Campaign for Academic Achievement program.
“The Black & White Ball demonstrates how our community can both celebrate diversity and raise significant dollars,” said Milwaukee Urban League Board Chair Vivian King, Vice President, Community Relations at Aurora Health Care.
Milwaukee Urban League President & CEO Ralph Hollmon added, “The outstanding financial support that comes from the ball helps us deliver more services to underserved parts of our community and ultimately assists in increasing graduation rates, decreasing unemployment rates and promoting the entrepreneurial strength that comes from a diverse community.”
The Black & White Ball’s 18 Major Sponsors this year were: American Family Insurance, Associated Bank, BMO Harris Bank, Brewers Community Foundation, Forest County Potawatomi Community Foundation, Harley Davidson Motor Company, JP Morgan Chase, KS Energy Services, ManpowerGroup, MillerCoors, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Northwestern Mutual Foundation, Roundy’s Supermarkets, Time Warner Cable, UPS, U.S. Bank, We Energies and Wisconsin Energy Foundation.
In addition to the record breaking financial support of major sponsors, the following organizations contributed special gifts at the ball: U.S. Bank ($20,000); JP Morgan Chase Bank ($30,000); We Energies/ We Energies Foundation ($30,000); Potawatomi ($50,000); and MillerCoors ($60,000).
Three local companies stepped up by purchasing multiple tables to support this year’s event: GE Healthcare with nine tables and Johnson Controls and Northwestern Mutual, each with three tables.
The crowd enjoyed a lively performance by R&B to sounds from The Larry Moore Trio during the champagne reception and D.J. Phil Anderson during the post-ball reception.
In their 12th year, this year’s event co-chairs were Jackie Herd-Barber and Cathy James, longtime community volunteers, and Lynn Sprangers, Vice President of Community Engagement at Mount Mary University. About the Urban League Founded in 1910, the National Urban League movement strives to enable African Americans to secure economic self reliance, parity, power and civil rights.
The Milwaukee Urban League was established in 1919 and employs a three pronged strategy to realize these goals while serving the needs of the community: Education and Youth; Economic Self-sufficiency and Racial Inclusion.
Under this umbrella, the Milwaukee Urban League provides a variety of youth programs, workforce development and economic development programs.