MLK service set for Jan. 20

COVINGTON -- This year's local celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday will take place later this month and the committee in charge of the event is seeking participants, donations and nominations for two awards.

The Newton County Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Observance Committee has announced that the 2013 Ecumenical Service will take place at 3 p.m., Sunday, Jan. 20, at Porter Memorial Auditorium at Newton High School.

The event is free and open to the community. The keynote speaker is State Rep. Pam Dickerson, D-Conyers, and the program will feature artistic performances from county youth and musical selections by the Interdenominational Choir. Anyone interested in participating in the choir can call Reta Cobb at 770-786-4423 after 6:30 p.m.

The event will also feature the presentation of the I Have A Dream and Trailblazer awards to outstanding individuals or organizations whose service to the community embodies the tenets of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s philosophy on social justice and community empowerment. The organizing committee is currently accepting nominations.

Criteria are as follows:

Eligible nominees for the I Have A Dream Award must:

-- have given two years of service to the Newton County community

-- be a registered voter

-- be affiliated with a church/synagogue/worship center

-- have contributions that are nonprofitable and are visible to the community

-- have contributions that are non-discriminatory

-- be one who models a spirit of peace and unity

-- be one who will initiate and support change

-- be endowed with a humble spirit

-- be steadfast in his/her convictions

-- be one who fosters and supports education on all levels

Eligible nominees for the Trailblazer Award must:

-- be a long-time citizen of Newton County

-- be a registered voter

-- be a creator of change in the community and follow through to implementation

-- facilitate change of benefit to the community

-- be resourceful and committed to all aspects of the county

-- foster a cohesive spirit of peace, unity, diversity and love

Nominations should include the name, address and contact phone number of the person making the nomination, the name and address of the nominee and a typed statement explaining how the nominee meets or exceeds the criteria for the award.

Nominations should be mailed to MLK 2013 Awards, c/o Mrs. Josephine Brown, P.O. Box 185, Covington, GA 30015 and must be received by Jan. 14.

The committee is also seeking donations to help fund the service, which can also be mailed to Brown.