Anonymous donor pays entry fee for young people
By Steven D. Manning
Special to Frost Illustrated
“It is important that we recognize the achievements of our young people. All too often we criticize youngsters, when there are so many who deserve our love, appreciation, and a nod of approval. They are our future, let’s applaud them.”
That profound statement comes from the program director of the Martin Luther King Jr. Club, Fran Grant, as the organization prepares for its 29th Annual Dr. King Unity Day Celebration. The event is scheduled to from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Jan. 20 at Fort Wayne’s downtown Grand Wayne Center.
Grant said an integral part of the celebration is the Youth Expo, which is scheduled to take place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
“MIMETime, from the Church of the Good Shepherd in Leo, and the new GPBC Praise Dancers of Greater Progressive Baptist Church, will perform at the Expo for the first time,” said Grant. “Community Baptist Praise Dancers will also make their stage debut, honoring the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”
Not only will youth talent be on display, the MLK Club has chosen a number of young people for special honors. As in the past, the organization is giving scholarships to select, deserving young people. But this year, the club will double its offering.
“Another ‘first’ is the awarding of four scholarships instead of just two. Thanks to the generosity of two anonymous donors, Jenna L. Klinedinst of South Side High and Tiara Poindexter of Wayne High will each receive a Glyn Gleason Memorial Scholarship. Recipients, Kalisha T. Goree of Columbia City High and Brittni J. Clopton of South Side High will receive scholarships in honor of late Civil Rights Activist George Smith and his wife Louise who is also a Civil Rights worker,” Grant explained.
“One donor also vowed to pay the $5 admission cost for at least 200 students (middle school, high school and college) attending the King Day Celebration,” added Grant.
Students must present their student ID for admission.
Others scheduled to appear on stage at the Youth Expo, are the Puppet Ministry of Jerusalem, True Love Praise Dancers, the United Youth Choir and Community Ministry of Fort Wayne.
The Youth Expo is just one segment of the entire Unity Day Celebration. There will be speeches, choirs, community service awards, vendors, health screening and much more.
Also, at 8 a.m. that morning, everyone is invited to attend Breakfast with the Clergy at the Courtyard by Marriott, across the street from the Grand Wayne Center. Pastor Ken Christmon of Turner Chapel AME Church and will bring words of wisdom and Dr. Luther Whitfield of New Covenant Worship Center will be named MLK Club’s 2014 Clergy of the Year. Tickets are $20 or $160 for a table of eight. In addition to a full sit down breakfast, attendees will receive a souvenir book, lots of warm fellowship and free admission to the main Unity Day celebration. Please RSVP by Jan. 17 by calling Fran Grant at (260) 493-0980.
Steven D. Manning is president & CEO of Manning Video Productions, LLC. He can be reached at (260) 247-2517.