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MLK commemoration breakfast Jan. 16
photo-106 - christian and alphonza gibbs greet tuskeegee airmen val archer and wilbur mason
Christian, 5, and Alphonza, 6, Gibbs greet Tuskeegee Airmen Val Archer and Wilbur Mason at the 2011 MLK breakfast. - photo by Michelle Kim

The Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce and the Rockdale Branch of the NAACP will co-host a breakfast on Monday, January 16, commemorating the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and celebrating the life and achievements of the influential American Civil Rights leader. Proceeds from the eighth-annual event will be donated to United Way in Rockdale to benefit programs addressing homelessness in the community.

The event is slated for 7:45 a.m. at the Longhorn Steakhouse located on Iris Drive near Interstate 20 and West Avenue. The keynote speaker for the event will be the Rev. Layne Fields, pastor of Old Pleasant Hill Baptist Church.

Willie Gibson, Rockdale NAACP chapter president, said the commemoration was a moment for reflection. Attendees can take inspiration “that all the works of Dr. King and the Civil Rights community were not in vain,” he said. “You’ll find a cross section of the community represented, all races and ethnicities” at the event.

“We are excited about this year’s celebration and expecting a large turnout,” said Fred Boscarino, president of the Conyers-Rockdale Chamber of Commerce. “This is our eighth year hosting the event with the Rockdale NAACP, and it has become a community tradition for many of our residents and business owners who want to appropriately observe MLK Day and honor this great American.”

 The cost to attend the breakfast and program is $5 for adults and $2 for children ages 13 and under. Limited seating will be available for those who want to attend the program, but not purchase breakfast. All funds raised will benefit homeless initiatives in Conyers and Rockdale, including Phoenix Pass and Family Promise of NewRock. Advanced tickets may be purchased from the Chamber of Commerce, located at 1186 Scott Street.

United Way in Rockdale Area Director Claire Cline expressed appreciation to the local NAACP and the Chamber for partnering to organize the event and for supporting local efforts to help the homeless.

“On January 16, we will be honoring a visionary leader who worked to improve the lives of others and to bridge social barriers,” said Cline. “Helping the homeless is certainly an appropriate tribute to his legacy.”