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Unity Ball Turns Mission Into Gala Event

mary harris and aarch society board in front of unity ball backdrop

AARCH Society and the Jack and Jill of America Foundation Western Maryland Chapter came together in Frederick, Md., on October 28 for a mission-inspired gala event. See photos by Epic Media Photography below.

The inaugural Unity Ball 2023 raised funds for AARCH Society’s African American Heritage Center and funds to support students of HCBUs who have financial needs that are not filled by scholarships.

Close to 200 guests mingled, dined on delicious food from Southern Style Bistro, and danced at the New Spire Arts Center, many wearing Mardi Gras style masks in keeping with the ball’s theme. Attendees included Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor and members of the AARCH Society and Jack and Jill of America.

Guests bid on silent auction items and a collection of African masks were on sale. African drummers gave a live performance to lead guests into the main room where AARCH Society Executive Director Renee Gooch kicked off the event with a speech celebrating the importance of education, history, and story-telling. AARCH Society Honorary Board Member Mary Harris received a Lifetime Achievement Award for her decades of work providing research, program support, and more.

We would like to thank all those who attended and our many sponsors for their support and donations: Ausherman Family Foundation, New Spire Arts, Benefactor Events, My Red Bow, Old Farm Liquors, Southern Style Bistro, Caroline Gessert, Event Decor DMV, i-VisioNet Org, Nicole Sideris, The UPS Store #5907, Tracy Boyd, and the Rural Maryland Council.


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