MLK Committee Announces Return of Weekend Celebrations

The Sarasota MLK Celebration Committee is delighted to announce the return of a program of weekend events and activities that commemorates the life and legacy of beloved Civil Rights Leader Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.

The celebration will begin with the inauguration of the First Home Bank on January 14. Events will conclude on January 17 with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast and Community Awards, followed by the Historic Unity Walk and Celebration, which will be hosted at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex.

Dr King was born on January 15, 1929, and was the country’s foremost leader in the 20th century civil rights struggle. The schedule:

• Friday January 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m .: The inauguration of the First Home Bank in Newtown. Located at 1782 Dr. MLK Way in Sarasota, First Home Bank in Newtown will serve as a one-of-a-kind loan production office and financial resource center. The event will include a food truck, refreshments, cash prizes and musical entertainment. First Home Bank will also be open on January 15 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Jetson Grimes is chairman of the MLK Celebration Committee.

• Saturday January 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m .: Sarasota Health Salon, 1781 Dr. MLK Way, Sarasota. Organized by the Gulf Coast Medical Society, Jetson Grimes and the Sarasota MLK Celebration Committee, the health fair will showcase 20 health-related resources such as flu shot administration, ambulance visits, cancer screenings. prostate and cancer prevention services provided by Shots in Arms Coalition, CenterPlace Health, the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota, and the Multicultural Health Institute.

• Sunday January 16, 2 p.m .: “Homage to the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.”, Temple Emanu-EL, 151 McIntosh Road, Sarasota. It is a face-to-face and virtual event that will feature poetry readings, musical performances from “The Soul Sensations” and interpretations of iconic Dr. King speeches by the Reverend Charles McKenzie. Advance registration is encouraged at, where the event will also be presented virtually. For more information, contact Don Malawsky at 941-359-2890. A “Tribute to the Reverend Dr Martin Luther King Jr.” is co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee.

• Monday January 17th, 7:30 am: Dr Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast and Community Awards, Robert L. Taylor Community Complex, 1845 34th St., Sarasota. The theme of the annual Memorial Breakfast and Community Awards ceremony is “Love All, Accept All”. This year’s keynote speaker is Rabbi Michael Shefrin of Temple Emanu-EL. Single tickets cost $ 25; a table of eight costs $ 200; and a table of 10 is $ 250. Tickets are available at Tickets can also be purchased by contacting Mae Dixon at 941-266-3217 or Helen James at 941-228-8191. All tickets must be purchased in advance; no tickets will be sold at the door.

• Monday January 17, 11 a.m .: Historic walk of the unit. Participants will tour Newtown’s historic sites and tour Booker High School before returning to the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex to enjoy tributes, entertainment and food at the amphitheater.

Founded in 1987, the Sarasota MLK Celebration Committee is dedicated to honoring the life and legacy of Reverend Martin L. King Jr. Funds generated by his mission are allocated to scholarships for low-income minority students pursuing higher education. Currently, more than 50 scholarships have been awarded.

Submitted by Nicole Brown

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