Buffalo Urban League Celebrates Service to the Queen City

November 19, 2011 Updated Nov 19, 2011 at 11:32 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

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November 19, 2011 Updated Nov 19, 2011 at 11:32 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) - The Buffalo Urban League Gala is one of the biggest parties of the year! Close to 1,000 people turned out Saturday for a spectacular event that benefits the community in more ways than one.

"It's a night of 'friendraising', where new relationships are stared not only with people that we serve, but the community as a whole," Urban League President and CEO Brenda McDuffie said.

McDuffie said it is those relationships with the community, including WKBW who is the media sponsor, that make their service possible.

This year, she said the League is focused on helping people find jobs, while also supporting them in other areas of their lives that may be suffering because of the lack of employment.

"They may be at risk of losing their homes, they may need food for their families or not be able to purchase clothing. Those are things that we make sure people in our community have," McDuffie said.

The Urban League also gives out scholarship to further the education of students in the area. They work with other agencies to help children get adopted into loving families and celebrate diversity throughout the Queen City. McDuffie said providing all of theses services makes for a stronger community.

"Every child needs to be raised in a home where they're nurtured and developed so they can get an education and a job and our goal at the Urban League is to make sure our children have that," McDuffie said.

At the gala Saturday evening, the League was recognized for all their accomplishments, while raising money for the organization.

McDuffie told Eyewitness News that $300,000 was raised at the gala from sponsorships, ticket sales,and raffles.

This year, those in attendance also get a visit from a very special member of the WKBW family.

"We also have as our hostess Linda Pellegrino and everybody is so glad to see Linda back," McDuffie said.

The gala took place Saturday at the newly renovated Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

For more information on the work of the Urban League, connect with them on the news links section of wkbw.com