To celebrate 50 years of unlocking the power of education for African-American students, NEED is holding its 50th Anniversary Gala on Oct. 19. The Gala will be held at The August Wilson Center, 980 Liberty Ave., Pittsburgh, PA. 15222.

Formed as a “last dollar” organization in 1963 against a tense backdrop of racial strife, NEED today is a nationally recognized college access program that has awarded almost 20,000 scholarships and grants totaling over $20 million. A turnkey program, NEED places additional focus on mentoring, internships, college advising, financial aid education, and assisting the region’s minority youth with knocking down all the barriers to higher education.

During the gala, six honorees will be recognized for their leadership and advocacy. The honorees are: Evan Frazier, Pete Mendes, Goldia Dargan Hodgdon, Rabbi Harold Silver, Mt. Ararat Baptist Church, Dr. Herman Reid Jr. and Sylvester Pace (posthumously). Special guests include Dr. Dorothy Browne, one of the first recipients of a NEED scholarship.

The celebration will include dinner, a late night lounge set with a musical performance by Alice Smith and a dance party with legendary DJ, Grandmaster Flash.

Doors open at 6 p.m., the  program begins at 8 p.m, and the after party with Alice Smith and Grandmaster Flash begins at 9:00 pm.  There are 3 ticket price levels.

The full package of cocktails, dinner and full evening of program can be purchased at $250-500 per ticket.  Program and after party ticket is $75.

(For additional information, contact Nicki Creasman at: 412-566-7392. For more information about NEED, visit


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