Jerrell Mason, director of the Niagara University Opportunity Program, presents a pair of $500 checks to Grant Babcock, director of operations for Community Missions of Niagara Frontier. The proceeds were raised through a Christmas benefit concert held at NU Dec. 1.

The Niagara University Opportunity Program’s second annual Christmas benefit concert, held Dec. 1, raised $1,000 for Community Missions of Niagara Frontier.

Jerrell Mason, NUOP director, presented a check to Grant Babcock, director of operations at Community Missions, during the event, which took place in the Castellani Art Museum.

Performers included Mason, former NUOP director Connie Mathews, who retired in May after 36 years at Niagara, and several local gospel music artists.

Proceeds from the sales of Christmas album featuring local singers also benefited local charities.

NUOP is designed for students who have the potential for and interest in furthering their education but are not admissible under Niagara University’s standard admissions criteria. The ultimate goal of the program is to make higher education possible for students who are both academically underprepared and economically disadvantaged. NUOP is funded jointly by the university and the New York State Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP).

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