The BlackPak was formed in 2012 by group of professional men who wanted to bring awareness to the lack of sponsorships, scholarships and development monies to those schools who participate in the basketball Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA). For decades, the CIAA tournament has been an immensely popular basketball tournament that brings thousands of visitors to the city of Charlotte in the month of February.
The BlackPak, a compendium of alumni from CIAA schools, pledged to provide greater opportunities for the athletes from these schools, as well as funding to these programs that have suffered over the years due to a decline in enrollment. Craig Stevenson, co-founder of the BlackPak and alumni of a CIAA school, acknowledges that there is a growing need to support these athletic programs that are not only struggling to make it to tournament, but whose athletes need financial assistance to remain in these programs.
Mr. Stevenson, who chairs the 14-person fundraising advisory board at Bowie State University (a CIAA School) recognizes that these athletic programs are in desperate need of expansion. The main principle behind the BlackPak is to raise funds for their athletic programs but to also have fun in the process. Accordingly, they set out to host an annual party each year in Charlotte, N.C. during CIAA week to help raise funds for scholarships and sponsorships that will advance CIAA Basketball Programs and their athletes. This red carpet annual event hosted on the Friday of CIAA Week is given at the Extravaganza Depot in downtown Charlotte, N.C., and it has become a premiere Friday night party for the adult crowd. A portion of the proceeds from this event are donated to a CIAA school. Tickets for this annual affair are sold in advance of the date and routinely sell out weeks before the event. If you are interested in purchasing tickets and supporting this initiative, please go to the BlackPak website at www.blackpakparty.com.