Close to 200 guests attended the annual UNCF Savannah Mayor’s Luncheon on March 9, 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Savannah. Hosted by the Honorable Mayor Eddie DeLoach Jr. and Mayor Pro Tem Car- ol Bell, the event brought together businesses, civic and education leaders, including the Honorable Shawn A. Kachmar, Savannah Chatham County Board of Education (District 4); Maurice E. Jenkins, executive vice president of UNCF; and the Honorable Michael L. Thurmond, chief executive officer, DeKalb County, who delivered the keynote address.
“UNCF understands the integral role the community plays in making a quality education accessible for all and values the platform the mayor provides to increase awareness of our mission.” said Jenkins.
“The annual UNCF Savannah Mayor’s luncheon sheds light on the need to raise dollars for education,” said Rosalind Mc- Ginnis, area development director, UNCF. “We are excited to have Mr. Thurmond speak on the state of education, reassuring us all that our voices make a difference and are needed to ignite change.”
Thurmond delivered a powerful message recalling his days as a student entering Paine College. He had $250 but needed $2500 to register. He spoke of “time released blessings”. He received assistance from UNCF along with the work study program. His job went from a dishwasher to cleaning the male dorm restrooms. There, he overheard a conversation between the Student Government President and another student about the amount the the Student Govermnent President was paid. Thurmond said, “that’s when I knew I would have a political career”. Thurmond ended his speech acknowledging “You can be cleaning a bathroom stall and still God will find you”.
Karen Bogans, Communications Manager at International Paper gave remarks on “Why We Give”. She told her story of how she was a UNCF recipient while attending Spelman College. Sam McCachern, President & CEO of Thomas & Hutton reminded the audience of the dollars raised as he chaired of the United Way Campaign as “Secret Agent Man” when making his appeal for contributions. Through the unwavering support of the community, last year UNCF was able to award 651 scholarships totaling $9,600,609 to students from Georgia.
WTOC News Channel 11 anchor Dawn Baker served as the mistress of ceremonies.
For more information on how you can support the efforts of UNCF Savannah please contact Rosalind McGinnis at 404.302.8623 x 8513 or visit: uncf.org/savannahml