A day on, not off: Community to host MLK days of service and celebration
On January 27, students will get the chance to experience the 5th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration.
Doors open at 2:30 p.m., with a service fair at at 3 p.m. to prelude the program.
The speaker for the event is Patricia Russell McCloud, a best selling author, lawyer, inductee into the HBCU Hall of Fame-Lifetime Achievement and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
The emcee for the night is Renetta DuBoise, a WRDW-TV news anchor.
This year’s theme is “The Time is Always Right To Do What is Right,” chosen as a reminder of the reason to celebrate and to get the community involved.
There will be a poster concert for elementary school-aged children followed by an essay contest for middle-level and high school students. First, second and third place winners will be announced and recognized at the program on Sunday.
Community members and students from Aiken Technical College and USC Aiken will also have the chance to be involved during the service week leading up to the main event. Various activities including working at St. Thaddeus Soup Kitchen, volunteering at ACTS, working with kids at the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club gives students the chance to be involved.
“The MLK Days of Service are a great way to give back to the Aiken community, and the MLK Day celebration further expands upon this idea of service by honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King,” said Brandon Eberl, USCA student body president.
Originally for students, the program was a way to acknowledge the contributions of MLK. The program has since remained a free, public event.
“We have wonderful sponsors," said Stephanie Franklin, chairperson of the MLK Community-Wide Committee, citing Chandler Law Firm, Savannah River Redemption, Atlantic Broadband and SRP Credit Union.
“We put on such a phenomenal program that people are willing to invest into this and into their community," she continued. "There is approximately 25 of us on the committee and we work on this program for almost eight months."
Nikia Franklin, Senior Team lead for the Student Life Office of Diversity Initiatives expressed that “all the time and effort put into the program will be well worth it for the attendees."
"I highly encourage everyone to come to the celebration next Sunday, to celebrate the accomplishments of the Aiken community and honor MLK,” said Franklin.
If you are interested in being apart of the program, the community choir is still looking for volunteers. For more information, contact Joel Scrapper at (803)641-3448.