King Day celebration to be Jan. 15 in KCK

The Rev. Calvin O. Butts III

“Continuing the Dream through Love and Peace in Times Like These” will be the theme of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday celebration Monday, Jan. 15, at the Reardon Center, 5th and Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas.

Pre-service events start at 10:45 a.m. with the formal program beginning at 11 a.m.

The Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III of New York, N.Y., is the featured speaker.

He is the pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem. He and his church are active in civil rights, social justice and economic development.

Dr. Butts founded the Abyssinian Development Corporation (ADC) in 1989, an arm of the church that has contributed to community development of schools and commercial facilities, as well as housing.

Since 1999 he has served as president of the State University of New York at Old Westbury. Dr. Butts received his Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, his Master of Divinity degree in church history from the Union Theological Seminary, New York, and a Doctor of Ministry in church and public policy degree from Drew University, Madison, N.J.

The event Jan. 15 will begin with a Motorcade for Hunger at 9 a.m. at Mount Zion Baptist Church parking lot, 4th and Richmond, leaving at 10 a.m. and arriving at the Reardon Center.

Persons and groups are encouraged to donate canned goods, which will be given to various food kitchens. The goal is to collect 5,000 cans of food.

Another goal at the King Day celebration is to have a 200-voice Mass Choir to provide music invoking memories of the civil rights era.

For information on choir rehearsals dates and times contact Alicia Saunders at saundersong@aol.com.

Scholarships will be awarded at the event. Thirty-five graduating high school seniors who have exemplified by deeds their belief in Dr. King’s dream will receive the Rev. C.E. Taylor-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarships.

More than $1 million has been awarded to students since the start of the Kansas City, Kansas, Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration.

Clarence Small is the general coordinator of the King Day Holiday Celebration, with the Rev. Ricky Turner, treasurer, and the Rev. Tony Carter, general program chairman.

The community is invited to participate in the annual King Day celebration. Through this celebration, the committee hopes to reach all faiths, all classes of people to educate, foster and carry on Dr. King’s philosophies on mankind, a committee spokesman stated.

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