The Richmond County Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Foundation Committee will present its annual week of events starting Friday with the MLK Gala.
The Celebration 2013’s theme is “The Dream — Then and Now” and the gala will kick off at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased from committee members by calling 910-895-5792. The gala will be held at the East Hamlet Community Center, 155 Laurel Hill St., Hamlet.
Saturday’s annual prayer breakfast, sponsored this year by FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital, will begin at 9 a.m. and will be held at the hospital’s conference room.
The Leak Street Educational and Cultural Community Center will host the Youth Extravaganza at 7 p.m. on Saturday, and the youth of Richmond County will entertain the audience.
The Sunday Ecumenical Service which begins at 7 p.m. will take place at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church at 1596 Highway 74 east in Hamlet where the host pastor is Rev. Gladys Broome. The guest speaker will be Rev. Michael Griffin, pastor of Pee Dee United Methodist Church. Music will be provided by the Martin Luther King Jr./J.C. Watkins Choir, which will practice every night until the service, according to Watkins. The choir director is Hermenia Bostick Williams.
On Monday, the Commemorative Parade March will begin at 10 a.m.
Participants are asked to assemble at the Leath Memorial Library at 9:30 a.m. for line-up assignments. The march will begin at the corner of East Washington Street and Rockingham Road and proceed to the steps of the Richmond County Courthouse for a brief service. Civic, social and church groups are urged to participate.
Following the march, the annual luncheon will take place at noon at the Sidney Grove Family Agape Center at 401 McIntyre Road in Ellerbe. The entree donation is $12.
Guest speaker for the luncheon this year is Kathi Harrington Gibson, educator and consultant from Fayetteville.
Gibson, a native of Richmond County, graduated from Richmond Senior High School and matriculated through UNC Chapel Hill where she received a BA in English Education, UNC Pembroke where she received an MA in Educational Administration and Supervision, and the University of South Carolina in Columbia where she received a Doctorate in the Philosophy of Educational Leadership, with a concentration in Social Work. Gibson’s professional career, which spans over three decades, began as a public school English teacher and evolved to an Assistant Principal, Principal, Educational Supervisor, director, Assistant Superintendent, Associate Superintendent and Superintendent of Weldon City Schools and Northampton County Schools.
Gibson is married to James Gibson of Hamlet and they have three children, Jamisa Williams who is an Assistant Principal at Eastern Guilford High School in Greensboro, James Gibson II who is a Teaching Fellow at North Carolina A&T State University, and Travis Wilson of Rockingham. She also has a newly acquired son-in-law, Lee Williams, who is Assistant Principal at Seventy-First High School in Fayetteville.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at email@example.com.