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Shaping Summit Together Will Host 15th Annual MLK, Jr. Day of Service

Numerous Summit organizations and residents will celebrate the "Dream" of Martin Luther King, Jr. by participating and volunteering in service events and programs this Monday.

While Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is typically a day off for students and even some adults, it will be a "day on" for volunteers of Shaping Summit Together and numerous local organizations.

The organization is presenting Summit’s 15th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 21 along with several program sponsors. Running from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., this day is chock-full of service projects and events that “encourage all members of the community to volunteer and celebrate side-by-side in the spirit of Dr. King’s 'Dream' of unity among neighbors,” according to the program’s website.

“Dr. King's ideals of mutual respect between and among people in all aspects of human contact are as relevant and important today as they were when Dr. King lived and strove for social justice,” according to a press release from Shaping Summit Together. “This community event gives the participant a chance to make a difference by supporting positive language and actions towards others and by serving those in need and whose voices need to be amplified.”

During the Summit Common Council meeting Tuesday night, Mayor Ellen Dickson urged all residents to visit the program’s website, shapingsummittogether.org, and to participate or volunteer in a service project or event.

“An event not to be missed is at Foundation Baptist Church. There’s a service from 7 to 9:30 p.m., the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Evening Service,” Dickson said. “Every family should go at one time or another. I’ve gone a number of times and it’s a great event.”

In addition, Dickson noted that the 2013 “Keeper of the Dream” award winners will be honored during the Celebration of Community Service, which will be held from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church Sancturary, 587 Springfield Ave.

Those award winners are:

Christopher J. Cotter

Christine C. Hodde

Judith Leblein Josephs

Hero Essay Winners will also be honored. Music will be performed by Bill Houpt and Bill Robinson during the celebration, according to the program schedule.

Throughout the day, several community sponsors will be in need of volunteers and donations. Visit shapingsummittogether.org to download the program schedule, which lists needs by organization.

In addition, the “I have a Dream” speech will be read by Pilgrim Baptist Church Rev. Ronald Allen at The Unitarian Church of Summit, located at 4 Waldron Ave., from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.

There will be refreshments served beginning at 10:30 a.m., as well as music and discussion, according to the program schedule. This event is sponsored by The Racial Justice Task Force of The Unitarian Church.

From 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Summit Community Programs and the Summit PAL will present a TryCAN Movie and Dance Party at the Summit Community Center, located at 100 Morris Ave. You can RSVP at summitcan@gmail.com.

Children with special needs, their siblings and families are welcome to join TryCAN for a showing of the film "Gnomeo & Juliet" on the big screen along with music and dancing with Summit Soundz, according to a press release from TryCAN. Light refreshments will be served. Trained volunteer teen Peer Mentors will be on hand to supervise the kids and help them have a great time. Kids should bring a blanket or pillow. 

For more information on the MLK, Jr. Day of Service and to downtown the program schedule, visit shapingsummittogether.org.

Program sponsors and volunteers include: Bridges Outreach, Inc., The Learning Circle YMCA, New Jersey Crossroads Red Cross, Bonds of Courage, MONDO, CHAT por Summit, Reeves-Reed Arboretum, Overlook Medical Center, The Connection For Women and Families, The Seeing Eye of Morristown, NJ, The Grand Summit Hotel, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Christ Church, The Rotary Club of Summit and New Providence, Foundation Baptist Church, The Tri-City Chapter of the NAACP, The Unitarian Church of Summit, The Racial Justice Task Force of The Unitarian Church, Summit Community Center, TryCAN, Summit PAL, Fill Ed Huberman’s Box, Children’s Book Drive for Newark Area Schools, The Christ Child Society of Summit, Area Baby Center, Mount Olive Temple’s Drive for Families in Need, Supplies for Families of Soldiers at Ft. Carson, Co., among others.

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