Groups Unite for 8 Events Honoring Martin Luther King Jr., in Delray Beach
By Staff Reports
While people around the country – and even around the world – commemorated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., hundreds in Delray Beach honored the late civil rights advocate on Monday, his namesake holiday, by continuing King’s mission through a day of civic service.
After a 45 minute walk – which included more than 300 people and the Palm Beach Lakes High School marching band – from the Community Center to Pompey Park, participants rolled up their sleeves and worked to shore up some local food pantries’ supply.
In true assembly-line fashion, representatives from various organizations and civic groups packed nonperishable food into bags, which were turned over to local food pantries and the Achievement Centers for Children and Families, and CROS Ministries.
“This is what Dr. King stood on and that’s what Delta Sigma Theta was founded on, which is public service,” said Lisha Rountree, of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority South Palm Beach County Alumnae Chapter, which coordinated the event.
This was the first year that the sorority organized the Day of Service project. They plan to serve as many as 20,000 meals next year, organizers said.
It was also the first time in the 31-year history of the observance that the organizations worked jointly to present a slate of events. It also was the first time that a band participated.
“The founders intended for it to be a silent walk and not a march or a parade,” said C. Ron Allen, who led the coordinating team. “However, while still maintaining the sanctity of the event, we included the band as a magnet because interest had waned over the years.”
The four-day observances kicked off Friday night with a fish fry organized by the Delray Beach Masonic Lodge No. 275.
On Saturday morning, the men of Lambda Alpha Alpha Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., held their annual track and field activities at Pompey Park Recreation Center.
Later that evening, jazz keyboard great Copeland Davis was in concert at Cason United Methodist Church. The event was coordinated by KOP Mentoring Network, a grassroots nonprofit, which has been serving area youth since 1991.
On Sunday afternoon, people of at least 14 faiths attended an ecumenical service at Cason United Methodist Church. The 90-minute service featured Winzie Wilson, the second place winner of the 2016 MLK Oratorical Contest. The Boynton Beach High School student spoke on King’s reactions following the recent Presidential election.
Monday was packed with activities from a breakfast, hosted by the Spady Museum, at the Delray Beach Municipal Golf Club to the dinner organized by Arora’s Voice, a nonprofit.
The breakfast featured several speakers on various aspects of King’s life and the dinner honored 10 local “heroes” who have improved the city through the volunteerism or financial contribution.
Organizers said the events went smoothly and were successful like a well-oiled machine.