Martin Luther King Jr. celebration big success

By Ronald MacArthur

Even with icy, snow-covered roads, the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Celebration went off without a hitch on Monday. Organizers delayed the start of the prayer breakfast at the Seaford Golf & Country Club for a few minutes to allow for those who were slowed down because of the snow. The event included a prayer breakfast at the country club followed by a teen summit and other activities at the Western Sussex Boys & Girls Club. The highlight of the event was the presentation of the MLK Community Recognition Award to John and Otelia Oliver of Seaford. The award was presented during the prayer breakfast by Dara Laws, a member of the MLK committee and a lifelong friend of the couple. John, who is a school bus driver in the Seaford School District, retired from the DuPont Co. in Seaford in 1969 after 29 years. He is a past president of the Western Sussex Boys & Girls Club board of directors and is active in Mt. Calvary AME Church in Concord where he serves as a trustee and is a member of the men’s choir, the homecoming choir, the lay organization and various other committees. He is also a board member on the Sussex Tech board of education, treasurer of the Seaford School District Bus Drivers & Contractors Association and treasurer of the MERIT Parent Advisory Council. He is also active in the Masonic Lodge. Otelia retired from teaching in 2001 after 33 years in Sussex Central and Indian River schools, teaching first grade for the last 21 of those years. She was twice named Teacher of the Year. Along with her husband, she is also active at Mt. Calvary. She is superintendent of the church school, beginners class teacher, president of the homecoming choir and a member of the missionary society and the lay organization. She is past president and current parent coordinator of the MERIT parent advisory council. The couple, who has been married 36 years, has two children, Jvonne and Joy. “We don’t take what we do lightly,” said Mrs. Oliver. “I hope we are doing a little bit to continue on Dr. King’s dream. And if you need us, call us. “”We look out and see nothing but love in this room,” she added.
The couple was presented with proclamations from State Rep. Tina Fallon and Seaford Mayor Dan Short and a gift from their fellow choir members. The guest speaker at the prayer breakfast was the Rev. Laurence Bell of Greenwood. He spoke about dreams and blueprints for life. “The best way for us to realize Dr. King’s dream is to focus on our own dreams,” he said. “What vision or dream is lying dormant in you? “All of us are born with a dream that is woven into your being by the creator. Our task is to continue his legacy.” He was introduced by Adair Williams, a co-chairman of the event. Kimberly Jones, the other co-chairman, served as mistress of ceremonies, the Rev. Terrance Moore offered the invocation and performed with his wife, Desiree, “The Conversation,” Angie Kilgo sang a solo and Bryan Nixon recited Dr. King’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech. Hostesses for the event were the Ladies of Distinction. The event continued with activities at the Boys & Girls Club including entertainment, music, exhibits, lunch and the featured event, the teen summit. The summit was coordinated by Dr. Julius Mullen of Seaford. More than 100 youth took part in the event. Mullen assembled a panel of role models from people around the county to moderate the summit with a them of “It takes paper to get paper.” The MLK committee is comprised of Deidra Williams, Betty Jarman, Kimberly Jones, Pat A. Jones, Dara Laws, Desiree Moore, Terence Moore, Julius Mullen, Marcus Mullen, Natasha Mullen, Emma Trammell and Adair Williams.

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