The second annual UNCF of St Louis Evening of Stars Concert Gala was held July 30, at the Grandel Theatre in Grand Center St Louis. The event was hosted by Coco Soul, and featured performances by Cedric “The Entertainer,” Denise Thimes, with Chante Moore headlining.

The evening started with a cocktail hour, including a VIP lounge featuring hors d’ouves, drinks, and music by North County Big Band and Point of View Jazz Ensemble which features students from Riverview Gardens High School. After, guests moved into the main theatre for the evening’s program.

Between performances, Dr. Dwaun Warmack and Harris-Stowe State University was named the UNCF Organization of the Year, while R. Xavier Payne received the UNCF Youth of the Year award. CEO Michael McMillan and the Urban League of Metropolitan St Louis was honored with the Cedric The Entertainer “Keeper of the Flame” award.

UNCF (the United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest minority education organization and this event helps raise public awareness which in turn provide resources for area students to get to and through college. Last year, close to $335,000 in scholarships was awarded to 44 students in Missouri.

UNCF Area Development Director, McFarlane Duncan said “We are elated to bring the historic UNCF Evening of Stars event to the city of St Louis for the second year. It is important for UNCF to show the community how far their investment can go in the lives of our young Missouri students. We are also excited about having Chante Moore lend her extraordinary voice to a great cause: education.”

33 UNCF scholarship award winners were in attendance for the evening’s festivities, including Mickayla Strother, winner of the Cedric “The Entertainer” scholarship. Local sponsors included Ameren Missouri, Ascension, Harris-Stowe State University, Paric, Regions, Clark Fox, Major Brands, and the Urban League of St Louis.

Photos and story by Christina Kling-Garrett