2018 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration

Monday, January 22nd, 2018

The 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration, was held Sunday, Jan. 21, and was an afternoon filled with encouragement, recognition, and calls to serve others, according to organizers.

The event, presented by Aiken Technical College and USC Aiken, was held at the USC Aiken Convocation Center, 2049 Champion Way in Aiken, at 3 p.m. The free event was open to the public.

During the 30-minute prelude, attendees visited with representatives from the following area nonprofit organizations to learn more about their mission, services or programs, and how they can get involved:

- Aiken Center for Alcohol and Drug Services

- Aiken County Branch of the NAACP

- Aiken County Education Association Retired

- Aiken County Help Line 2-1-1

- Aiken County Juvenile Arbitration Program

- American Association of University Women-Aiken Branch

- Augusta University-Georgia Cancer Center

- Center for African American History, Art, And Culture

- Community Medical Clinic of Aiken County

- Concerned Ministers Fellowship

- Cumbee Center to Assist Abused Persons

- Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA

- Journey of Joy Walking Movement

- Mountains to Midlands Girl Scouts

- Project VISION

- Public Education Partners

- South Carolina Autism Society

- Tri-Development Center

- United Way of Aiken County

The service fair is held each year to help connect the community with service opportunities. This year, service is a central part of the theme: “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve…you only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.”

SC Sen. Mia McLeod who represents District 22 (Richland and Kershaw counties) in the state legislature was the event’s keynote speaker and spoke on the theme. McLeod, the first woman to represent Richland County in the South Carolina Senate, currently serves on the following committees: Senate Judiciary; Transportation; Corrections and Penology; and the general committee.

Winners of the event’s annual poster and essay contests were recognized during the event with the first place winner of each category receiving an iPad mini. Aiken County elementary students were asked to create artwork to showcase what the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday meant to them. Posters of first, second and third place winners were displayed in the service fair area of the event.

Aiken County middle and high school students reflected on this year’s theme in the essay contest. Both contests were open to public, private and homeschool students in Aiken County.

This year’s event sponsors are:

· Title Sponsor: Chandler Law Firm

· Gold Sponsor: Bridgestone

· Silver Sponsors: Aiken Electric Cooperative, Inc., Aiken Regional Medical Centers, Allstate, Atlantic Broadband, AT&T, City of Aiken, Margaret’s Garden Adult Day Care, Mead Hall, Security Federal Bank, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, SRP Federal Credit Union, and University Health Care System

· Bronze Sponsors: Aiken Personnel Services, Concerned Ministers Fellowship, Aiken County Branch of the NAACP, Owens Corning, and Rural Health Services, Inc.

· Community Supporters: Aramark Food Services, Art Nook, King Family Trio Violinists, Sun Solutions, WAAW Shout 94.7 FM, and WNRR Gospel 1380 AM

For more information about the event, visit www.ATC.edu or www.usca.edu/MLK.