Columbia, SC (WLTX) Community activitsts and leaders were honored before 850 people who came together for the Columbia Urban league's 49th annual Fund Campaign and Equal Opportunity Day Dinner. This year's theme was Corporate Social Responsibility Economic Imperative. President of Columbia Urban League, James T. McLawhorn, Jr. says that the make up of South Carolina economy is changing.

Our state is moving from an agricultural, banking and insurance industry state to a manufacturing state. A place to which more and more manufacturing companies are drawn. So he says, when it came to choose a guest speaker, there was no other choice this year other than Timothy Keating, senior vice president of Government Operations for The Boeing Company. He tells News 19, "Because Boeing is a global company, so it has brought a global reputation to South Carolina for manufacturing. As a result of that, Boeing is like a magnet. It is attracting other companies to come to South Carolina.

McLawhorn says, "As we become a greater area for manufacturing we're gonna have more companies coming in and we need to have some role models for them. We need to have some expectations for them relative to corporate social responsibility and Boeing sets the pace for that."

Money raised at the event goes to help fund the Urban Leagues initiatives and mission to help underserved communities to secure self-reliance, through education, employment, and economic development. Mclawhorn says the fundraising event bridges the gap between grants they receive and what they need to successfully manage their programs.

The evening also included a tribute to Steve Patterson who was not only a valued member of the media in the Midlands, but also a Columbia Urgan League board member.

For more information on the Columbia Urban League and the honorees at this dinner, just go to their Website,