Life, legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. inspire residents to engage in volunteer work

For 19 years, residents of Paradise Valley have observed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a ceremony and luncheon held at Town Hall.

The program includes a keynote address by a prominent person known for his or her advocacy and actions related to Dr. Martin Luther King’s principles and vision.

Kana Chinasamy

Another key feature is the recognition of an individual who has upheld and through deeds and actions continues the passion of Dr. King. That individual is awarded the MLK Diversity Award. To date, 17 individuals have been recognized and presented the award.

Essay Competition

Another key event which is part of the MLK Day celebration is the essay competition. For many years, students attending middle school in Paradise Valley have been invited to submit an essay on topics related to Dr. King’s legacy. Last year the topic was “ I have a dream…” and this year the topic is “From Dream to Action”.

One finalist has been picked from the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grades. The winners will be presented a certificate and small gift during the Paradise Valley Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration in the Town Hall on Jan. 16, 2017.

Winners and their families are especially invited to attend. In addition, the winning essays will be posted in Town Hall on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Community Service

In conjunction with the National Day of Service declared by the federal agency Corporation for National and Community Service, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration Committee adopted year-round service as the best way to honor Dr. King by participate in the national program.

Packaging food for the Feed My Starving Children project is another year round activity that is organized by the MLK committee for residents of PV.

The annual Paradise Valley food drive is organized every year during and after the festive season, when the needs of food banks are greatest.

Food drive boxes are placed at Town Hall and the police department lobby for one month, ending the Friday after MLK Day, when the food is delivered to the Paradise Valley Emergency Food Bank on 32nd Street.

Projects related to advancement of woman and projects related to the refugee situation are being discussed for 2017.

The Baha’i community continues a monthly series on Healing Racism after the Martin Luther King celebration. These monthly workshops include participants from various racial backgrounds who discuss and then talk about actions that contribute towards racial unity and understanding.

For 19 years, the town and the residents of Paradise Valley, including the Baha’I community, have supported the MLK Day celebration committee, co-chaired by Mr. John Wintersteen, retired Paradise Valley Chief of Police, in carrying out these activities in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King.

We warmly invite you to this year’s celebration on Monday, Jan. 16 at 11 a.m., Paradise Valley Town Hall, 6401 E. Lincoln Drive.

We will also be collecting canned and dry food for the Paradise Valley food bank.

Two locations to choose from: Paradise Valley Police Department, 6433 E. Lincoln Drive.  (24/7 Drop Off) — or Paradise Valley Town Hall, 6401 E Lincoln Dr. (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays).

Or, you can bring it the day of the event.

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