Banker, lawyer, founder of shelters are honored by local Urban League

February 23, 1996|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

A mortgage banker, a lawyer and the founder of homes and shelters for abused children and homeless families were honored by the Baltimore Urban League last night at the group's annual Equal Opportunity Dinner.

The civil rights group presented its Whitney M. Young Award to:

* Alexander Avella Jr., president of Amerifirst Mortgage Corp. since 1969, for his commitment to local and national housing initiatives. He has been active with Neighborhood Housing Services of New York and with real estate and mortgage banking groups.

* Benjamin R. Civiletti, chairman of the Venable, Baetjer and Howard law firm, for his community and public service. Mr. Civiletti, U.S. attorney general in the Carter administration, has been chairman of several local boards and has headed state commissions on the financing of public education, drug abuse and welfare policy.

* Cassandra E. McDonald, program director of Jentry McDonald Corp., for her ministry to Baltimore children and families in need. The corporation opened its first group home for abused and neglected children in 1990. Since then, it has opened two shelters for babies and two long-term group homes for siblings. It also provides services to homeless families under contract with the city of Baltimore.

Young was president of the Urban League from 1961 to 1971.

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