UNCF MASKED BALL: A masked ball celebrating the 70th anniversary of the United Negro College Fund will be held at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 14, at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, 601 Loyola Ave.

New Orleans celebrity chefs for the event include John Besh, of Besh Restaurant Group; Leah Chase, of Dooky Chase Restaurants; Kelly Fields, of Restaurant August; and Brian Landry, of Borgne Restaurant.

Last year’s UNCF Mayor’s Masked Ball generated $1.3 million, enough to send more than 200 young men and women to and through college. This year’s Masked Ball fundraising goal is $1 million.

This year’s Masked Award will go to Norman C. Francis, honoring his 47 years as president of Xavier University, one of 37 UNCF member institutions. Hoda Kotb, of NBC’s “Today” show will serve as mistress of ceremonies for the Ball, with musical performances by R&B group Maze featuring Frankie Beverly.

Individual tickets are $500. To purchase event tickets or car raffle tickets or to make a donation, call the New Orleans UNCF office at (504) 581-3794 or visit www.uncf.org/nolamaskedball.