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MLK events set for Sunday

COVINGTON - The annual community Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday at Newton High School's Porter Hall.

The keynote speaker for this year's program is the Rev. David Payne of The Church at Covington.

The event will include performances by the Martin Luther King Interdenominational Choir, comprised of members of numerous local churches; the children of B and J Learning Center and the dance and drama team from The Church at Covington.

Local city, county and school board officials are expected to participate.

The I Have a Dream Award will also be presented. The award is given annually to an individual who "epitomizes the philosophy of Dr. King" through community service, according to Josephine Brown, secretary for the organizing committee.

The winner is selected from a pool of nominees submitted by the community.

A new award, the Trailblazer Award, will be also be given to "a citizen that has made an in-depth impact on Newton County in a variety of areas," Brown said.

In other news, in honor of the King holiday, The City of Refuge Christian Church is holding a clothing drive and will host a free clothing giveaway from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday at 2185 Washington St.

"The goal is simple - to collect as many clothes as possible, then distribute them free to anyone who needs them," Pastor Ronnie White said. "The City of Refuge Christian Church is collecting new and used clothing for financially struggling families. When you think about families on a limited income, clothing is a pretty big expense. We think having clothing is not a luxury, but, when money is tight, the necessities are food, utilities and rent. So we are soliciting the community to donate clothing and then will serve that same community by providing clothing."

A similar giveaway in November was hugely successful, White said.

"This event is free to all. We are hoping to help over 100 families," he said.

To arrange a time to drop off clothing for the drive, call the church at 404-933-9970.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.