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Local MLK events mark 80th birthday of civil rights leader
Events in Social Circle and Newton County
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With the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday fast approaching, several area groups are planning commemorative activities in honor of Dr. King’s ideals.

Social Circle students will gather for a special reenactment of King’s iconic "I have a dream" speech at 2 p.m. Jan. 16 at Social Circle High School and Middle School.

The Rev. David L. Roy from Piney Grove Church in Atlanta will be performing the speech, reminding students of the power of King’s words and dreams.

This is the seventh year the reenactment, sponsored by the Social Circle Historical Society, will be held.

"It’s a nice event every year, for the whole community," said Larry Knox, past president of the Social Circle Historical Society. "This is to bring the community closer together."

The Society will also sponsor an event for the wider Social Circle community at the Mars Hill Baptist Church, next to the Social Circle Library, at 2 p.m. Jan. 18.

The guest speaker will be Greg Halleck of the Historical Society, with Society President Bob Bailes as emcee.

In Newton County, the winner of the 24th annual "I have a Dream" award will be announced at a special ceremony on Jan. 18 at 3 p.m. at the Porter Hall at Newton High School.

This year, the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Committee that grants the award received more than 20 names of worthy locals nominated for the honor, said Committee Secretary Josephine Brown. The guidelines call for nominees to have lived in Newton County for at least two years, be actively involved in the community in a selfless manner and be involved in works that "exemplify the philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King," Brown said.

The committee tries to keep the winner’s name a surprise until the announcement.

The keynote speaker of the awards ceremony will be the Rev. David Payne from the Church at Covington.

On Jan. 19, 150 to 200 high school and college students will combine service and education in the battle against hunger as part of Hands On Newton’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day service project.

The day starts at 9:30 a.m. at Turner Lake Recreation Facility. Students will then see a presentation called "Hunger 101" about the peril and prevention of world hunger. Lunch will be served around noon and then the students will depart to plant trees, shrubs and flowers at Turner Lake, Community Food Pantry, Porterdale trail system and Chimney Park.

"There’s a lot of people coming together to get this done," said Doug Bolton, director of Hands on Newton.