MLK celebrated with annual local program

The 2019 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Program focused on impact.

The Winchester-Clark County Unity Committee, which organizes the event, wanted to spread King’s message: “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way.”

The Winchester-Clark County Unity Committee, formerly ML King Unity Committee, started in 1986 after President Ronald Reagan declared MLK’s birthday a national holiday.

Its purpose was to ensure the community came together each year to recognize and commemorate King’s life and his message. It has done so ever since with an annual march and celebration.

The 33rd celebration of MLK’s birthday in Winchester began with a breakfast and music accompaniment by the George Rogers Clark High School jazz band Monday at the St. Joseph Fellowship Hall.

Feature speaker Ambyr Graves Blair, a native to Winchester, talked about how she aims to make a positive impact every day. Blair said the impact someone makes could have a ripple effect on others.

“You can either have a positive impact or a negative impact,” Blair told the crowd. “ … I choose to be a positive impact.”

State Sen. Ralph Alvarado also presented Blair with a Kentucky Colonel award.

The program also included a welcome by County Judge-Executive Chris Pace, performances by the Broadway Baptist Church Praise Dancers and Carolyn Burton singing “Lift Every Voice” and “I’m Free.” The GRC Cardinal Singers also performed with Jalam Sutton as the soloist.

Mayor Ed Burtner presented the Humanitarian Award to Sandy Stults, museum director at the Bluegrass Heritage Museum, for her many years of service to the community.

Burtner said he was pleased to see the number of young people participating in the program.

Rick Beach gave the closing prayer.

After the program, some attendees marched to the courthouse from the fellowship hall, holding signs and portraits of King.

Burtner also thanked the committee for continuing to honor King with the annual march and program.

“A voice like Dr. King was important during that period of time because he raised issues and challenges and questions,” Burtner said.

About Lashana Harney

Lashana Harney is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. Her beats include schools and education, business and commerce, Winchester Municipal Utilities and other news. To contact her, email lashana.harney@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0015.

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