The devastating racially motivated mass shooting at Tops Friendly Markets on Buffalo’s east side earlier this year exposed many lingering challenges for the Buffalo-Niagara community. In doing so, it also brought people together and created a new determination to find solutions.
The Urban League of Buffalo has played an important role in the effort, and on Saturday, the organization gathered for its 2022 Gala. Leaders from across the Buffalo-Niagara area, including partners in the Harris Beach Buffalo office, gathered at the sold-out gala at the Buffalo Convention Center to demonstrate the community’s “resolve and commitment to restoration and rebuilding in the face of adversity.” The gala’s theme was “Resilience: Celebrating the Power of Love and Humanity.” Representing Harris Beach were Office Managing Partner Bob Murray and partners Melanie Marotto, Pietra Zaffram, Jeff Weiss and Tracie Lopardi.
Funds raised from the gala support the Urban League’s scholarship program, and a host of other programs, which include foster care, senior centers, youth centers and crisis counseling at different locations. The Urban League also provides support for housing and workforce training initiatives, including a partnership with the Northland Workforce Training Center.
President and CEO Thomas Beauford, Jr. told WKBW in Buffalo last week that the gala recognizes the community’s resilience from many events of the past few years, including the pandemic, but that the goal was to look forward. He said: “This is going to be a time for celebration. We want to be reverent, but really push forward to all the exciting things this community has to look forward to.” The Harris Beach Buffalo office has been a longstanding partner with the Urban League, providing financial support for scholarships and programming over the past several years.