Chamber celebration goes virtual

By Brendaly Vega Davis [email protected]
<p>Audience members hold hands together in unity during 2020’s event.</p>

Audience members hold hands together in unity during 2020’s event.

The Multi-Cultural Business Committee at the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce has decided to celebrate the life, teachings, and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through a virtual event this year. The community can join in for the 21st Annual MLK Day Celebration on Jan. 18, 2021, at 12 p.m. on Star Communications Channel 16 or 316, or go to the @sampsoncountygovernment YouTube channel to watch the celebration.

Although COVID-19 has suspended many events in the past 10 months, the committee was still eager to find a way to honor Dr. King, Chamber executive director Kiley Jones explained.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. helped plan and participate in a protest march from Selma to Montgomery, a march that became known as Bloody Sunday. The march was 54 miles long and was held to promote the voting rights of African-Americans. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law seven months later.

“The Multi-Cultural Business Committee thought it was important to still find a way to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., even though COVID-19 has suspended many events in the last few months,” Jones stated. “They wanted to honor Dr. King because he dedicated his life to serving others in order to build a more unified nation based on the principles of our founding fathers. This is also the 21st time that there has been an event, and it is one event that the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce hopes to continue honoring in future years.”

For reference and to answer any questions about how it will be set up, the recording is being done the same way the Veterans Day Program was done.

“We are excited that the Multi-Cultural Business Committee had a plan to continue the celebration, given the continued circumstances surrounding COVID-19,” Jones stated. “I am excited to have the chance to watch this event because it shows the strength of the committees that are under the direction of the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce. The Multi-Cultural Business Committee did not let the obstacles of COVID stop them from honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and I think it sets a good stage for other committees going into 2021. It is evident that the Chamber of Commerce continues to move forward, even in the current times.”

“It’s exciting to think about this event since there is not much going on in our area right now. Luckily, we were able to bring in guest speakers and entertainment for the event to be shown on TV and YouTube. Mayor Lew Starling, Amanda Bradshaw, Ms. Dee Bryant, and a few others all came out to put the celebration together. If you join in on Jan. 18, you’ll get to see each of them honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior. It will be a celebration for all to enjoy and to learn from.”

Deondra Peterson will be singing the Negro National Anthem in addition to guest speakers Ms. Dee Bryant, Dr. Ray Ammons, Amanda Bradshaw representing the Clinton-Sampson Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Lew Starling, Dr. Ted Thomas and Elder Gerald. Guest speakers will be welcoming everyone that is joining the virtual event, talking about history, and what all that has been going on recently.

First Missionary Baptist Church of Warsaw is also doing an MLK Day celebration and will “drive for love, peace, and justice.”

The processional will begin at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 17,at the Kemba building in Warsaw, located at 860 N. Pine St., Warsaw. Everyone will remain in their vehicle. The ‘drive’ will end at First Missionary Baptist Church of Warsaw, 336 W. Hill Street, and there will be a parking lot service that will begin at 10 a.m.

Brendaly Vega Davis can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 2588.