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Oroville’s Martin Luther King Day event highlights community – Chico Enterprise-Record


OROVILLE — Over 100 people gathered at the Southside Oroville Community Center Monday to take part in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast and Scholarship Awards event.

Hosted by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Steering Committee, the event featured a pancake breakfast, a presentation with several speakers and performers emceed by Oroville native and Bay Area teacher Dr. Clifford Thompson and a scholarship presentation by Minister Charles Coleman and Patricia Coleman.

“I love this event, it’s so important,” said Thompson. “It’s nice to get people together.”

“We’re celebrating a great man and a great dream, ” said keynote speaker and Las Plumas High School principal, Lamar Collins, prior to the lineup of speakers and performers. “I’m proud to be a part of this event and help our next generation of leaders.”

“There’s work still to be done,” said community member Ruby Thomas during her speech. “I thank everyone for coming out. God is here.”

Pastor Kevin Thompson reminded everyone to “exercise your right to vote.” Clifford Thompson said to “know who your elected representatives are.”

Some children from the community group Children with Voices sang “Oh Martin Luther King.”

NAACP Butte County chapter president and Oroville City Council member Janet Goodson and Steering Committee member Frances Mann led the audience in a song called “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

Besides the presentations and performances, DJ Malcolm Dixon, interim program coordinator of Recruitment and Outreach at Butte College, played a variety of music. There were also several raffles throughout the morning with all kinds of donated prizes and gift baskets. The event’s big ticket raffle item was a 55 inch television.

Tiffany McCarter, African American Family and Cultural Center director, spoke. “Only light can drive out darkness,” she said. “I have a dream too, to restore and revitalize this community.”

Before he spoke, Collins acknowledged his wife, the “queen of my dreams”, and his children. He spoke about how one’s success in life is about attitude and effort.

“It’s not just about education,” Collins said. “Your attitude determines your altitude”. He said he’s met many educated people who weren’t very smart and many uneducated people who were very smart. Collins said the most important aspects of life are to discover your strengths, develop good friendships, decide to have a positive attitude, discipline yourself and discern God’s plan.

“There’s greatness in every person here today, ” Collins said. “You are one of a kind. You have everything that God wants for you to have.”

Collins said that life will present you with challenges and he advised to “not stay down.”

Diverse Dancers danced a choreographed dance and a praise song was sung by the No. 1 Church of God in Christ. A selection was sung by members of Wynn Memorial Church of God in Christ.

A benediction was given by Reverend Andrew McHenry to conclude the event.

After the program ended, scholarships were handed out to various students. Each year, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Steering Committee awards five to eight local high school seniors that are college bound, according to a press release. The award is a $500 scholarship with money generated from local business sponsors and community donations. There were nine recipients this year.

Garibaldi’s Catering from Chico and a student crew prepared and served the pancake breakfast at 8 a.m. After the breakfast, people hung out and talked until the presentations began.

Geneva Davidson, an Oroville resident, attended the event with her three adopted children. Davidson fostered over 50 kids before becoming a full-time mother.

“I’ve been coming to this event for many years,” Davidson said. “It’s very important to this community. I hope we continue this event. I’m excited to come every year.”



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