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Individuals, families, businesses and foundations will be honored when the Buffalo Urban League holds this year's gala, "Empowering Communities, Changing Lives," at 6 p.m. today in Adam's Mark hotel.

The black-tie dinner will be preceded by a silent auction to benefit the organization's scholarship fund, which has helped more than 500 graduating high school students.

Award recipients at this year's gala are:

Ronald M. Pirtle, president of Delphi Thermal & Interior and vice president of Delphi Corp.; the William L. Evans/Whitney M. Young Humanitarian Award for leadership and community service, including service on the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority and the State Business Council.

Jeremy Jacobs, chairman of the Delaware North Cos., and his wife, Margaret; Family Life Award for a history of community service, including support of such organizations as the United Way, National Conference for Community and Justice and the University at Buffalo.

Attorney Terrence McKelvey and his wife, Rubie; Family Life Award for their assistance to urban youth, including sponsoring children in enrichment programs and on college tours and providing ski instruction.

WKBW-TV; Community Service Award for dedication to Western New York charities and causes, including sponsoring the Urban League's gala and annual scholarship golf tournament, helping redevelop Martin Luther King Park, supporting 1490 Enterprises and the annual Variety Club Telethon to benefit Women and Children's Hospital.

John R. Oishei Foundation; Community Service Award for supporting hospitals, schools, cultural and social services organizations to enhance the quality of life in Western New York since 1940.

Canisius High School senior and honor student Xavier Harris; Youth Award for volunteering as a tutor and math assistant and serving in the Junior NAACP and Students Against Driving Drunk.

McKinley High School senior and honor student Erica Martin; Youth Award for numerous school and volunteer activities. She is a member of the National Honor Society.

For information, call the Urban League at 854-7625 or e-mail

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