Nine hundred celebrators gathered to laud legends in civil rights and song at the Baltimore Urban League's 75th Anniversary Gala at the Hyatt Regency. The notables numbered in the double digits as they gathered to dine on filet mignon and enjoy the dulcet tones of Grammy-winning jazz vocalist Nancy Wilson.
Among those honored for their humanitarian efforts: Dean of the University of Maryland School of Medicine Dr. Donald Wilson; historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch; Maryland state Sen. Clarence Blount; and Chaplain Emeritus of Johns Hopkins University Chester Wickwire.
Dr. Benjamin Hooks, the former executive director of the NAACP, gave the keynote speech to an audience that included Baltimore Urban League board chair Dr. Linda Thompson, Maryland Court of Appeals Chief Judge Robert Bell, WMAR-TV GM Steve Gigliotti and Alma Brown, wife of the late U.S. Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown.
The Baltimore Urban League had something else to celebrate. The event raised an estimated $100,000.