The YMCA of South Florida held its 14th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Inspirational Weekend January 12-15 with nearly 700 community and business leaders. The tribute to Dr. King’s Legacy started as a breakfast in Broward County but has grown over the years to include a luncheon in Miami and a Day of Service. The weekend of activities consisted of a Breakfast in Fort Lauderdale at First Baptist Church presented by JM Family Enterprises and a Luncheon in Miami at the American Airlines Arena presented by the Miami HEAT on January 12, and the YMCA MLK Day of Service presented by FPL, Broward College and Ocean Bank throughout South Florida on January 15.
Each location recognized a youth and an adult who has shown commitment to the ideals of social activism, civic engagement, and diversity championed by Dr. King. Those recognized included Spirit of Community Award recipients Derek Lewis (Broward) and Valencia Gunder (Miami), and Dave W. Cash Youth Award recipients Shanese Wright (Broward) and Joshua Mitchell (Miami). The Luncheon even had a special appearance from Heat player Shane Battier who introduced our keynote speaker, Dr. Clarence Jones, political advisor, legal counsel and speechwriter who helped Dr. King with the I Have a Dream speech, who did a phenomenal job of providing insight into who Dr. King was.
Our annual MLK Day of Service gave 725 volunteers an opportunity to make it a Day ON and not a Day OFF at one of our 15 service project sites.
Together, we serviced over 250 Children with Blankets of Hope; fed the needy; created 3 educational gardens and expanded on another; painted and provided much-needed service to 3 preschools; renovated a senior home; cleaned-up 10 blocks of neighborhood streets and 2 local parks; and made significant improvements to an equestrian farm that offers therapeutic riding to children and young adults with physical and developmental special needs. Special thanks to our Day of Service funding partners – Broward College, Florida Power and Light, and Ocean Bank, as well as our local elected officials and community leaders who supported the projects.
Thank you to all of our top sponsors: JM Family Enterprises, Miami HEAT, City National Bank, BB& T, Milner, FPL, Broward College and Ocean Bank. We could not do the work we do without you!