By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
VINELAND and OCEAN CITY — With the scores of programs events and tributes held Monday and over the past weekend honoring Civil Rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., hundreds turned out for events in Vineland and Ocean City.
Both programs gave unique tributes King, who the country honors annually for his heroic dedication to the fight for Civil Rights.
At the Academy of Healthcare Excellence Ballroom, Monday morning, there was standing room only as the Vineland African American CDC held its annual MLK Breakfast. Led by Albert Porter, the breakfast honored more than a dozen local honorees for their work in the community.
“This year’s honorees represent examples of soldiers in the army of “A Call to Completion,” and they come from every segment of our community to achieve their dream.,” said Rev. Anthony Scott, president of the VAACDC in a statement.
“We are thankful to those who nominated these extraordinary citizens of the universe, and we look forward to follow the next chapter of their lives,” he added.
The VAACDC held a morning and afternoon program, where community members were honored. Those recognized from both programs included:
- Former Cumberland County Commissioner Darlene Barber
- Public relations specialist Karen Beachumn-Boyd
- Syreeta Bryant, Gifted Hands Creations
- Pastor George Bunton, Jr.
- Businessman Shemar “Marty” Collins
- Ron and Sharene Colson, Miss NJ and Miss America judges
- DaQuan Cosby, Nurse
- Chantel Frazier, Bridgeton Public Schools
- Jamaal Hall, social worker, Vineland High School
- Janay Harden, social worker
- Volunter Jynell Harris
- Rev. Jacqueline Hills, St. John AME, Mizpah
- Deacon James Johnson, Men Intertwined
- Liddian Kinsey Street, vice president of nonprofit Positive Vibes
- Zelrecka Lindsey, Rowan College of South Jersey adjunct professor
- Nutt Maddox, of Union Baptist Temple
- Angela Morrison, of Angie At Your Service virtual assistant
- Miya Miyamoto, Nurse
- Airline pilot Tamara Peyton
- Vineland High School Student Inesha Rivera
- Hector Rodriguez, Higher Places Ministries, Vineland
- Rev. Nelson Rosa, Jesus is Your Salvation Church
- Shania Santiago, student services, Rowan University
- Overseer Des W. Joshua Slaughter
- Former Cumberland County Commissioner Jack Surrency
- Teacher Alithia Tolbert
- Derek Tribbet, Vineland High School student
- LaCoya Wallace, specialist at West Avenue School in Bridgeton
- Ray Wharton, local businessman
- Rev. Ronald Williams Jr., Ministerial Fellowship, Chester, Pa.
- Clyde Hughes, AC JosepH Media and Front Runner New Jersey.com
The Vineland Village Gospel Company led the crowd in rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” while Daimeon followed with a praise dance and selections by Jameer Baldwin and Inesha Rivera. Ty Lewis talked about his upcoming play in February and Phyliss Spencer modeled while giving inspirational messages to the audience. Former Congressional candidate Tim Alexander was part of the attendees. Will Turner performed emcee duties during the morning awards program.
Deacon Samuel Hull introduced the keynote speaker, who was Rev. Joe Colvin, of Union Baptist Temple. The Universal African Dance Ensemble also performed. Angela Brown gave the Welcome. Paster Wayne DeShields, of Wesley Memorial gave the invocation while Dr. Rev. Albert Morgan, of Union Baptist Temple performed the benediction.
Here are some of the images from the Vineland event:
Ocean City Gives Honor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew and New Jersey Assemblyman Antwan McClellan joined Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian and other elected officials in Ocean City at its MLK Program at the Music Pier Monday afternoon.
Former Ocean City resident Rev. Gregory Johnson, who was the first African American to serve on the city council at Ocean City and its school board president, gave the program’s message and closing statement.
“It’s always a great crowd here for MLK Day ceremony,” said McClellan the for Ocean City councilman and one of the event’s organizers. “Rev. Johnson does a great job and the city rallies around this event so it’s unbelievable. It’s a beautiful day in America’s greatest family resort.”
Van Drew said it was great to see a diverse crowd from all walks of life gather together to honor King and his message of unity.
“It’s great to see people hand-in-hand, arm-in-arm really loving each other,” the Congressman said. “It reminds us of all what is important is not always what we perceive it to be. It is faith and love and remembering there is no race, color or creed, just all of us together as good Americans.”
Rev. Marcia Stanford, pastor at Macedonia UMC and chaplain at The Shores Community served as keynote speaker.
Michael Mattina, principal at Ocean City Intermediate School introduced the winners of the campus’s annual MLK essay contests, including seventh graders Sofia Wright and Kendall Barnes and eighth-grade winners Sydney Halliday and Gabriel Meron.
MLK Service Awards were given to John Loeper and Dr. Patrick Kane while musical selections were performed by Twama Brandon and Bishop Floyd T. Myrie. Ocean City Tabernacle’s Pastor Jay Reimer gave the welcome.
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