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MLK Jr. Day celebration and service events set

Sue Guinn Legg • Jan 8, 2018 at 9:01 PM

Carver Recreation Center is inviting the community to celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday in a series of events to set to begin on Saturday.

The center’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 13, at Wesley United Methodist Church, 225 Princeton Road.

The featured speaker will be the Rev. Cecil C. Mills Jr., pastor of Friendship Baptist Church of Greeneville and an assistant district attorney general for Greene County. Music will be provided by Central Baptist Church and featured artists. Curtis McCloud will be the master of ceremonies.

The breakfast will also include special recognitions for five community servants who are retiring — Johnson City Police Chief Mark Sirois, former Johnson City Community Relations Director Becky Buchanan, Johnson City schoolteachers Faye Rutledge and Michelle Treece, and the Rev. C.H. Charlton, pastor of Johnson City’s Friendship Baptist Church and former vice mayor of Johnson City, who is retiring from Northeast State Community College after 24 years of teaching.

Founded and hosted for many years by the Langston Heritage Group, the Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast has been held at Carver Recreation Center for the past two years as a benefit to help provide funding for educational field trips for Carver youth.

Proceeds from last year’s breakfast helped provide a trip to the National Museum of African-American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., for about 40 students in the Carver center’s after-school program.

This annual breakfast is prepared by the men of the church. Admission is $15, with all proceeds going to the Carver Recreation Center Historic Field Trip Committee. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the recreation center at 322 W. Watauga Ave.

With city schools in recess for Monday’s national holiday, Carver and East Tennessee State University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs will present a roster of Martin Luther King Jr. Storytime activities for children and youth of all ages.

Set for 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., the storytime program is free and lunch will be provided.

In keeping with the Day of Service designation attached to the holiday since 1994, the Carver center will host a blood drive for the American Red Cross from noon to 5 p.m. on Monday.

And beginning at 6 p.m. Monday, the center will host a free Martin Luther King Jr. Community Dinner and awards ceremony.

The dinner program will include special recognitions for new Carver Recreation Center Hall of Fame inductees and recipients of the recreation center’s Martin Luther King Jr. Beyond the Call of Duty Award.

The honorees will include the late Frank Crowder, James and Brenda Crowder, the family of D.D. Stuart, several Carver volunteers and others.

For more information about the events, call Carver Recreation Center at 461-8830.

Email Sue Guinn Legg at slegg@johnsoncitypress.com. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.

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