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37th annual Newton County King celebration to be virtual event

COVINGTON, Ga. — Newton County’s 37th Annual Commemorative Celebration of the Life and Legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is set for Sunday, Jan. 16, at 3 p.m. and broadcast live via YouTube and Facebook Live.

Due to COVID-19, this year’s event will again be a virtual celebration with music, song and words of inspiration consistent with the National Theme, “Shifting Priorities to Create the Beloved Community.”

A key feature of the event remains the recognition and celebration of individuals — adults and youth — and organizations that contribute to advancing peace and unity in the Newton County community, a news release stated.  

Awards will include the I Have A Dream Award, the Trailblazer Award and the Young Dreamer Award.  

Organizers sought award nominees based on the following criteria:

• I Have a Dream Award:  The nominee must have given at least two years of service to the Newton County community; must be a registered voter; is affiliated with a church/synagogue/worship center; made contributions to the community that are not for profit and visible to the community; made nondiscriminatory contributions; models a spirit of peace and unity; is one who will initiate and support change; must be endowed with a humble spirit; must be steadfast in his/her convictions; and must be one who fosters and supports education on all levels.

• Trailblazer Award:  The nominee must be a longtime resident of Newton County; must be a registered voter; must be a creator of change in the community and follow through to implementation; change facilitated by the nominee must be a benefit to the community; must be resourceful and committed to all aspects of the county; and the nominee must foster a cohesive spirit of “peace, unity, diversity and love.”

• Young Dreamer Award:  The nominee must be a resident of Newton County, enrolled in one of the public schools of Newton County in grades K-12; must have demonstrated interest in fostering peace, unity, diversity ad love among his or her peers; and must have made a difference in the lives of others who may have otherwise been overlooked, ignored or disadvantaged. 

Watch the event on Facebook at

To watch on YouTube, search for Newton County Martin Luther King Celebration at

The 2021 winners were Newton County Chairman Marcello Banes, I Have a Dream Award; sisters Felicia Tuggle Harris and Chandra Tuggle Mitchell, Trailblazer Award; and Meredith McCrorey, Young Dreamer Award.