'Dancing on the Ceiling': UNCF Wins Third Image Award For Its Tribute to Lionel Richie

Mar 08, 2011, 14:14 ET from United Negro College Fund

LOS ANGELES, March 8, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Friday night in Los Angeles at the Shrine Theatre Auditorium, UNCF(United Negro College Fund) won its third  NAACP Image Award for UNCF An Evening of Stars®, its annual televised celebration of education and excellence.  The UNCF An Evening of Stars production won in the category of Outstanding Variety or Series Special for A Tribute to Lionel Richie, which aired in early 2010.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101110/UNCFLOGO)

UNCF An Evening of Stars 2010 honored Richie with an all-star tribute for his support of UNCF and minority education, his contributions to the music industry and his role as a global humanitarian and philanthropist.  

On hand to receive the award for UNCF was National Director, Special Events, Sandra Trimble-Sampson and executive producer and director of the show, six-time Emmy Award® winner Louis J. Horvitz.

"This award is a tribute to so many people," said Sampson. "Our honoree, Lionel Richie, a true American treasure and product of UNCF member institution Tuskegee University; Executive Producer and Director Louis J. Horvitz; our sponsors; Target, McDonald's, AT&T, American Airlines, Wells Fargo, BET Networks and WGN America and my UNCF colleagues for whom UNCF An Evening Of Stars is a year-round labor of love," she continued.  "But most of all it's a tribute to the 39 historically black colleges that belong to UNCF and the 60,000 students who attend UNCF member schools and receive UNCF scholarships, whose work reminds us every day how true it is that 'A mind is a terrible thing to waste.®'"

UNCF An Evening Of Stars 2010 featured performances by Natalie Cole, Akon, Jesse McCartney, Chrisette Michele, Boney James, Katharine McPhee, Ledisi, Johnny Gill, James Ingram, Brian McKnight, Mary Mary's Erica Campbell and 25-time Grammy Award winner Stevie Wonder.  Special guest presenters included syndicated radio host and HBCU fundraiser Tom Joyner; Shemar Moore from Criminal Minds; Terrence Howard of Iron Man; USC basketball star Romeo; Cedric The Entertainer, whose foundation grants more than a dozen UNCF scholarships each year; Justin Chambers of Grey's Anatomy; Bobb'e J. Thompson of Role Models; Gina Ravera of The Closer; Tracie Thoms of Cold Case; Regina King of Our Family Wedding; Dexter's Lauren Velez; Paige Hurd of Everybody Hates Chris; and more.  

"It is a privilege to produce UNCF's television special each year," said Horvitz, now in his fifteenth year with UNCF An Evening Of Stars.  "And to be recognized again this year by the NAACP is the ultimate validation of the important work being done by UNCF each and every day."  Horvitz directed UNCF's Lou Rawls Parade of Stars® for twelve years.  His other credits include The Grammy Awards, The Academy Awards, The Prime Time Emmy Awards and The Kennedy Center Honors.  

UNCF An Evening Of Stars helps bring awareness to UNCF's mission of ensuring every child gets a good education from pre-school through college.  This third Image Award is a significant recognition for the 67-year-old organization and is a salute to the outstanding work of UNCF donors and partners.

About An Evening of Stars®

UNCF An Evening of Stars®, formerly the Lou Rawls Parade of Stars®, first aired in 1979, and since that time has become one of the longest running and most successful televised events in U.S. history. Over its 32-year history, UNCF An Evening of Stars® has raised more than $200 million that has helped hundreds of thousands of students attend college and graduate.  In recent years, UNCF An Evening Of Stars® has featured a Who's Who of remarkable talent, including Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Chaka Khan, Ne-Yo, Nancy Wilson, Beyonce, Anita Baker, Jill Scott, Whoopi Goldberg, Fantasia, Joss Stone, Jennifer Hudson, Michael Bolton, Natalie Cole, Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau, Hall and Oates, Ziggy Marley, Maroon 5, and scores of others. UNCF An Evening of Stars® received NAACP Image Awards for its 2006 tribute to Stevie Wonder and its 2008 tribute to Smokey Robinson. Learn more about UNCF An Evening Of Stars® at www.uncf.org.

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, strengthens its 39 private member colleges and universities, and advocates for the importance of minority education.  UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 21 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 900 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 www.UNCF.org.

SOURCE United Negro College Fund