Events to honor MLK Jr.


By Donna Thornton/News Editor

Across the nation, people often mark the holiday designated to honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday with a day of service, as well as celebration.

Gadsden is no different. In addition to a breakfast, and the annual event at Convention Hall, the community will be served through a health fair on the Gadsden State Community College campus.

The 16th annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Initiative Health Fair is slated for 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Jan. 20 in the auditorium of Gadsden State Community College’s East Broad Campus administration building.

The health fair, sponsored each year by Gadsden State, will bring approximately 20 vendors and health agencies to the site. Members of the Lambda Eta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority will provide assistance with the fair.

Quality of Life Health Care Services, Inc. will provide a speaker and health information concerning the Affordable Care Act and the American Red Cross will provide educational information. The health fair will offer free tests and screenings for blood pressure/sugar, cholesterol, HIV, and oxygen saturation tests. In addition, information will be available related to substance abuse, breast cancer, prostate cancer, senior health, home health, kidney disease, and diabetes.

Students from Gadsden State’s Therapeutic Massage Program will participate in the fair and offer free massages. Volunteers from RSVP will be available to assist participants in filing federal and state tax returns for 2013. 

Last year, more than 250 community members attended the fair and took advantage of the services offered.  For more information contact Tarva Vaughn, health fair coordinator, at 256-549-8674 or 

In addition to the health fair, the community has the opportunity to celebrate the life of Dr. King at the Southern Christian Leadership’s Martin Luther King Jr. Motivational Breakfast at 9 a.m. Jan. 20 at the Wills Creek District Baptist Association building at 1431 Chestnut Street in Gadsden.

Admission is a $3 donation.

WMGJ hosts a celebration at 6 p.m. on Jan. 20 at Convention Hall. David Lawson of WMGJ said keynote speaker will be three-term state Senator Quinton T. Ross. The theme of the event is “Moving Forward in Unity,” Lawson said. There is no charge for admission.

There were plans for parade in downtown Gadsden on Jan. 20, organized by CJC Services Production. But CiCe Curry said because of a lack of timely response from participants, the decision was made to forego a parade for this year, and make plans for  a parade for Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2015.

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