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GALLERY: Annual Durham UNCF Evening of Stars Gala

Photo highlights of the Durham UNCF Steering Committee’s annual UNCF Evening with the Stars Gala held February 17, 2017, 7:00 pm at the William & Ida Friday Center (100 Friday Dr. Chapel Hill).  This year’s event honored Secretary Larry Dwight Hall and Durham County Commissioner Brenda Howerton. The UNCF Gala is a fundraiser for scholarship to award to students in need at Shaw University annually.

Hall is a longtime member of the North Carolina House of Representatives who was recently appointed to the position of Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Military and Veterans Affairs by Governor Roy Cooper. Durham County Commissioner Brenda Howerton is the President Elect of North Carolina Association of Counties (NCAAC), and will become the President of The State County Commissioners Association in August of 2017. She is the first Durham County commissioner to be elected to a statewide senior leadership office. She also serves on the NCACC’s Board of Directors, and Health and Human Services Steering Committee.

Entertainment for the evening was provided by an area favorite, Sweet Dreams.  Host MCs were WRAL reporter Gilbert Baez and internationally acclaimed jazz performer Eve Cornelious.  The evening included a silent auction, dinner and dancing.

A volunteer committee from the Triangle has worked tirelessly for over 26 years to raise funds to help educate worthy students at HBCUs.  Over $500,000 has been raised over this period successfully educating hundreds of students.  This year’s Gala honored the late Glenda Cheek Davis, the chair of Durham UNCF Steering Committee who passed in December.

The United Negro College Fund is an American philanthropic organization that funds scholarships for black students and general scholarship funds for 39 private historically black colleges and universities. The UNCF was incorporated on April 25, 1944 by Frederick D. Patterson, Mary McLeod Bethune, and others. The UNCF is headquartered at 1805 7th Street, NW in Washington, D.C.

In 2005, the UNCF supported approximately 65,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities with approximately $113 million in grants and scholarships. About 60% of these students are the first in their families to attend college, and 62% have annual family incomes of less than $25,000. UNCF also administers over 450 named scholarships.

Tickets are $40 and can be purchased in advance by contacting Gladys Burnette, 919-819-7500 or Ruth Coleman 919-414-0280. For more information visit or

Photos: Donald Watkins (click on photo to start slideshow)

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Phyllis Coley
Phyllis D. Coley is CEO/Publisher of Spectacular Magazine and Host of Spectacular Magazine Radio Show. With a B.A. in English from NCCU, the Durham native began her professional career as Promotions/Marketing Director for New York City’s WKTU-FM. While at the radio station, Coley discovered the rap group Kid ‘n Play and managed them for five years, guiding their music and movie careers to success. Moving back to Durham, Coley produced a nationally syndicated television show, The Electric Factory, while working as News Director for FOXY 107/104. In April 2002, recognizing a void in highlighting the achievements of African Americans, she started her own business publishing ACE Magazine. Coley launched Spectacular Magazine in November 2004. Recognizing the lack of pertinent and truthful information, Coley began Spectacular Magazine Radio Show in March 2009. Coley is the organizer of Durham's Annual MLK/Black History Month Parade and the Annual North Carolina Juneteenth Celebration. She currently serves on Central Children’s Home Board of Directors, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Advisors, as Immediate Past Secretary of the Durham Rotary Club Board of Directors and is one of the founding members of the Triangle United Way’s African American Leadership Initiative.

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