On November 9th, the Broome County Urban League held its annual dinner. The dinner took place at Terra Cotta, at 81 State Street downtown Binghamton, scheduled to start at 6:45pm until 10pm. Scheduled to be the keynote speaker was Assemblywoman Donna Luprdo, who had just won re-election 3 days prior.
The event, attended by some 102 people who paid $40 per ticket, was focused on the success stories of the Urban League – how it had helped to change lives and improve the local community. As Mattie Ervin, Chairwoman for the Broome County Urban League, stated about the event,
“Tonight’s event is focused on the people who went through the programs. We wanted to let them talk about the successes and failures. They are what we are here for.”
Perhaps one of the most moving examples of success came from Anthony Washington. An ex-con who served 21 years for robbery and murder, he spoke passionately about his deep regret for what he had done, his quest for redemption, and the consequences of his single night of very poor decision-making.
With the help of the Urban League, via the ATTAIN program, he was able to overcome the culture shock of a world that includes items like cell phones and the internet that most take for granted. The Urban League not only trained Mr. Washington on the use of computers, but provided training that allowed him to become proficient on WORD, EXCEL, Powerpoint and a range of other software programs essential for a productive member of any modern business. The Urban League also helped Mr. Washington, a high school drop-out who used his incarceration to gain further education, overcome the stigma of being an ex-con and gain entry into Binghamton Community College where he is continuing his education and personal growth as a positive member of the community.
The keynote speaker for the dinner was Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo. She spoke at length about the benefits of the Urban League and the programs, like ATTAIN, that helped the community. How the efforts of the staff, and the committment of volunteers, combined to create the successes of Anthony Washington, as well as those that received college scholarships like Angela Catanzaro – who hopes to become a social worker to help kids. The full speech of Assemblywoman Lupardo
As we noted in a previous article, Binghamton City Councilwoman Lea Webb was also at the event, and her responses to our questions about the Urban League can be found at Councilwoman Lea Webb at the Broome County Urban League dinner in Binghamton, NY.
Full video of all the speakers and awards, can be found via our Youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/MVConsultingInc.
In all, the Broome County Urban League annual dinner was a success because of the focus that Chairwoman Ervin highlighted. The community was the real winner, and the true center of attention for the night.