Donation links remain live to raise money for college scholarships; renowned designer Barbara Bates donates a $2,000 custom jacket for a donor drawing

CHICAGO, IL, June 26, 2024 /24-7PressRelease/ — It was the party of parties – with a serious purpose. As a part of the 80th anniversary celebration of UNCF, the United Negro College Fund, the organization, in partnership with FM Omni-Channel Radio Station™, held the first UNCF Omni-Channel Radio-thon recently, to raise money for college scholarships. Founded on April 25, 1944. UNCF’s 80th anniversary celebration continues throughout the year.

The UNCF Omni-Channel Radio-thon continues also. The Radio-Thon donation link will remain active through June 30, the end of Black Music Month. Donate at or

“Many donors are giving in denominations of eight for the UNCF 80th anniversary,” said UNCF Regional Development Director Lisa Rollins. “We’ve received donations of $8, $80, $800 and up. Any gift will go a long way in helping a deserving student attend college,” she said.

Adding to the fun, fashion designer Barbara Bates has donated a custom, one-of-a-kind women’s leather jacket valued at $2,000 for the cause. Every dollar donated gives you a chance in the drawing, Rollins said. A $25 donation gives you 25 chances. Everyone who donates is automatically entered into the drawing. The winner will be announced at the end of the program in June.

Adapting the format of the United Negro College Fund Telethon (formerly the Lou Rawls Parade of Stars Telethon for UNCF), televised for several decades, the 24-hour, livestream event featured a “parade” of celebrities from music, media, sports, and entertainment who called into the station and/or sent recorded messages of support for UNCF.

Music legends such as Grammy Award-winner Ray Parker, Jr., who wrote the original “Ghostbusters” theme song; Dennis Edwards of the Grammy Award-winning tempting Temptations; and Evelyn “Champagne” King, a fan favorite for her hit singles “Shame” and “Love Come Down,” weighed in to encourage listeners to give.

Joining them were a host of entertainers including Gerald Alston (The Manhattans), Marshall Thompson (The Chi-Lites), Billy Brown (Ray, Goodman & Brown), Russell Thompkins, Jr. (The Stylistics), Ron Isley (The Isley Brothers), Antonio Fargas (Huggy Bear), Heatwave, Enchantment, Willie Clayton, Keith Washington, Copeland Davis, Deitra Farr, Next Movement, Loretta Holloway, Melanie Moore, Ray Parker, Jr, Howard Hewitt, Darcus Gates, Linda Woodson, Theo Huff, Gene Chandler, The Whispers, LEON, Claudette Robinson, and more.

Additionally, local media celebs such as Tonya Francisco of WGN and Hermene Hartman of N’Digo took part in the festivities.

From 2022 – 2023, UNCF awarded 541 scholarships to students in Illinois.
UNCF’s iconic motto now revised still rings true…a mind is a terrible thing to waste, but a wonderful thing to invest in™. For more information and sponsorship opportunities, contact UNCF Chicago at 312-845-2200.

About UNCF
UNCF (the United Negro College Fund) is the nation’s largest and most effective minority education organization. To serve youth, the community and the nation, UNCF supports students’ education and development through scholarships and other programs, supports and strengthens its 37 member colleges and universities and advocates for the importance of minority education and college readiness.

UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 17 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. UNCF administers more than 400 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship, mentoring, summer enrichment and curriculum and faculty development programs.

Today, UNCF supports more than 60,000 students at over 1,100 colleges and universities across the country. Its logo features the UNCF torch of leadership in education and its widely recognized motto, ‟A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” ® Learn more at or for continuous updates and news, follow UNCF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @UNCF.

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