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WJBD - Local News - 33rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Banquet Held Sunday Night

Committee Co-Chairs Ms. Victoria Sayles (left) and Mrs. Delmar Hill (center) present a plaque of appreciation to keynote speaker Dr. Michelle Maultsby.

Some of the crowd at the 33rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior Holiday Banquet.

33rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Banquet Held Sunday Night

By Bruce Kropp, WJBD News

The keynote speaker at the 33rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior Banquet in Centralia Sunday night told those in attendance they needed to work together as a team to reach their accomplishments.  

Centralia native Dr. Michelle Maultsby said division stops progress and it takes everyone united and working together to be successful in making change.  "It takes a team to make a dream stay alive, but the dream is manifested through and by the work.  Are you willing to do the work?" said Maultsby.  

Maultsby told the crowd there was a lot of work to do in Centralia, but it could not be accomplished by people working alone.  She shared her story of a friend telling her she was not going anywhere to inspire her to go to college and start her on the path to her current profession as an Associate Professor in Rehabilitation Counseling at South Carolina State University.  

The Dr. King committee handed out a number of special awards.  The Humanitarian Award was presented to Laveeda Gardner for her love and generosity to others.  She was commended for helping people find places to live and then helping them with furnishings and clothing.   

The Military Award was presented to Lt. Retired Reverend John Young who opened a barbershop upon his return to Centralia.  Young was lauded for giving free haircuts to students who could not afford them and providing turkeys to needy families each year.  The business award was shared by the owner of Shorty's, Mr and Mrs. Glenn Bates, and Michael Stock who recently opened a barbecue business on West Broadway in Centralia.  

The Education Award went to Shiller Grade School Principal Tron Young.  "I remember as a kid coming here and I remember going to the old high school and just learning.  That's my goal that we as a community come back together, unite together, and take this village and raise all these young men and women as leaders to come back and show them the support that we've given them that has made a difference in their lives.  That's my dream and that's my goal", said Young.  

Young was honored for his work not only in his school, but also for speaking on the importance of overcoming adversity and the need for mentors and leadership in education.   

The committee selected Patrice Hill as the winner of the annual Keep a Dream Alive essay contest for eighth grade students.  Lakala Wallace took second and Kennedy Henson third. 

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