Hundreds of local Alamance County residents joined together to eat breakfast and honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Monday morning
The event, sponsored by the Martin Luther King Jr. Coalition of Alamance County, was held at Occasions restaurant in downtown Burlington and featured speaker the Reverend Larry McDonald of the Johnson Chapel AME Church in Mebane. The event also presented three scholarships to three high school seniors in the annual scholarship essay contest.
This was the 27th year for the coalition to host the event in Alamance County and accomodations were made to seat roughly around 400 people.
“I always come to this,” Oivia Gunn, from Elon, said. “I love to be a part of a celebration for Martin Luther King; it’s important to keep his dream alive.”
Following a litany of rememberance, a dance performance, a scripture reading and invocation, a full breakfast was served to the audience. During this time, a poem written by MLK Coalition member Mrs. Frances McAdoo was read and a song was performed by Josh and Maria Alston.
Reverend Larry McDonald then delivered his speech to the audience, in which he described King’s dream and how it can be applied today.
“It is time for equality for all races and people,” McDonald said. “The dreamer has made everything possible.”
McDonald explained how he believes the country is a “midnight point” right now, between day and night. America needs to “wake up” and fight for its rights that King installed, he said.
“We must remind the state, the nation that we need to change,” he added.
“It is our job to educate our children,” he said. “It is our job to raise our children the right way.”
The breakfast ended with the distribution of scholarships to the three essay winners. They are high school seniors Leah Borlow, Portia Thompson and Johana Sisk.
The scholarship award is given to the three high school seniors with the best essays on the given topic involving Martin Luther King Jr. This year the topic was “If MLK was alive, what civil issues would he address?”
The winners received $500 toward the college of their choice.
This Martin Luther King Day marked the 22nd year of the holiday and the MLK Jr. Coalition of Alamance County holds the celebration every year.
“This keeps people going in the correct direction,” former Democratic lawmaker Bertha “B” Holt from Burlington, said. “It keeps the memory alive; it does something good.”