The Vernon Parish King Day Coalition hosted several activities last week in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year's theme was "The Power of a Dream."
"The coalition's purpose is to make sure there is a celebration in the Leesville/Fort Polk area that represents the service and sacrifice of Dr. King," said King Day Coalition president Rev. Joseph L. Garner.
Several young people from throughout the community participated in the spelling bee and oratorical contest. The students spoke on the topic, "What does it mean to me to have an African-American as president of the United States of America?" Coalition member Patricia Williams was the coordinator for this event.
On Jan. 11, the coalition held its annual King Day Scholarship Banquet at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center. Coalition member and Vernon Parish Police Juror Curtis Clay was the speaker for this event. He spoke on the importance of having God's favor in life and how God's favor allowed Dr. King to accomplish so much for humanity.
One of the highlights of the scholarship banquet was recognition of the 2013 community service award recipients. This year's honorees were Rev. Ernest Arthur, a local pastor; Patricia Williams, a retired educator and Cassandra Wilson, principal at Vernon Middle School.
The awards honor those individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to better the lives of people throughout the community.
The closing event was a community worship service. Churches from throughout the community came together to worship God and celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This event was held at the Johnson Temple C.O.G.I.C. with Superintendent Maurice Johnson serving as the keynote speaker. He spoke from the subject, "Old is good but New is better." Minister Roy Mosby led a community choir with soul-stirring music.