published: Friday, January 18, 2013
MLK celebration is Monday
MLK celebration is Monday
ROXANNE BROWN | Staff Writer
Clermont will hold its second annual Martin Luther King Jr. birthday celebration from 10 a.m. to noon, Monday, at the city's Waterfront Pavilion, 330 3rd St. in downtown Cler-mont.
The celebration, hosted by Christian Men in Action in partnership with the South Lake Democratic Club, was spearheaded by lifelong resident Tim Murry.
Murry, a member of Christian Men in Action, said he was determined to bring a venue to the South Lake Community where people could gather to celebrate King's birthday.
In its inaugural year in 2012, about 150 people showed up for the day's events.
This year, Murry said he is keeping the same basic layout, which includes various speakers, local singers, dancers (many of them children) and the reading of King's "I Have A Dream" speech.
The theme for last year's celebration -- "Keeping the Dream Alive" -- will also be the theme this year.
Murry said the morning's opening remarks will be made by longtime Clermont Mayor Hal Turville, followed by the reading of a countywide proclamation regarding the holiday by Lake County Commissioner Sean Parks.
The keynote speaker for the celebration is Val Demings, former Orlando Chief of Police and U.S. Senate candidate.
Demings will be sharing with the audience the opportunities King's fight for civil rights -- along with his struggles and achievements -- have afforded her in her own life and that of so many others lives around the world.
In addition, Murry said he was able to secure a film that will be shown to attendees that chronicles some of King's struggles and achievements in his fight for equality, followed by footage of his "I Have A Dream" speech as he recited it in front of the Washington Monument years ago.
Also on the program are the "Unity Through Praise," singing group, made up of three preteen girls from Leesburg, the New Jacob's Chapel youth choir, a musical/poetic presentation by the Boys & Girls Club students from the South Lake Unit, a run through of black history contributors by Danielle Green, and performances by singers Lisa Doguid and Lorenzo Rogers.
The event will be emceed by Celebration of Praise's Rodney Jones with the opening prayer to be given by Pastor Michael Hopewell from New Waters International Church of Clermont.
"I am looking forward to this year's celebration and excited because we have more kids participating and getting involved this year than ever," Murry said.
Murry said getting kids interested in history and is "what it's all about."
He said also that the celebration is intended to teach the younger generation about some of the struggles black people in this country went through to desegregate schools and get every race of people, and the entire country, where it is today.
The journey, he said, will continue on with the younger generation of today.
"I feel like it's important to keep the celebration of Martin Luther King's birthday going strong every year in order to educate our youth," Murry said. "It's important to make them aware of some of the struggles that go along with the journey toward major historical achievements, which is sometimes forgotten about in schools,"
"By coming together as a community, however, we can help bridge the gap."