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Nikasha N Dicks
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2018 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration to be held Sunday

Event will feature service fair, community choir, awards

The 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration, to be held Sunday, Jan. 21, will be an afternoon filled with encouragement, recognition, and calls to serve others, according to organizers.

The event, presented by Aiken Technical College and USC Aiken, will be held at the USC Aiken Convocation Center, 2049 Champion Way in Aiken, at 3 p.m. with doors opening at 2:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

During the 30-minute prelude, attendees may visit with representatives from the following area nonprofit organizations to learn more about their mission, services or programs, and how they can get involved:

  • Aiken Center for Alcohol and Drug Services
  • Aiken County Branch of the NAACP
  • Aiken County Education Association Retired
  • Aiken County Help Line 2-1-1
  • Aiken County Juvenile Arbitration Program
  • American Association of University Women-Aiken Branch
  • Augusta University-Georgia Cancer Center
  • Center for African American History, Art, And Culture
  • Community Medical Clinic of Aiken County
  • Concerned Ministers Fellowship
  • Cumbee Center to Assist Abused Persons
  • Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA
  • Journey of Joy Walking Movement
  • Mountains to Midlands Girl Scouts
  • Project VISION
  • Public Education Partners
  • South Carolina Autism Society
  • Tri-Development Center
  • United Way of Aiken County

The service fair is held each year to help connect the community with service opportunities. This year, service is a central part of the theme: “Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve…you only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love.”

SC Sen. Mia McLeod who represents District 22 (Richland and Kershaw counties) in the state legislature will be the event’s keynote speaker and will speak on the theme. McLeod, the first woman to represent Richland County in the South Carolina Senate, currently serves on the following committees: Senate Judiciary; Transportation; Corrections and Penology; and the general committee.

Winners of the event’s annual poster and essay contests will be recognized during the event with the first place winner of each category receiving an iPad mini. Aiken County elementary students were asked to create artwork to showcase what the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday meant to them. Posters of first, second and third place winners will be displayed in the service fair area of the event.

Aiken County middle and high school students reflected on this year’s theme in the essay contest. Both contests were open to public, private and homeschool students in Aiken County.

New this year will the honoring of Human & Civil Rights Champion Award recipients—one community member, and one student each from Aiken Technical College and USC Aiken. The awards recognize those who have gone above and beyond in the area of service, advocating for others, and/or promoting equal rights.

Musical selections will be provided by: a violin trio during the service fair featuring Sophie King, Reese King, and Joanne Stanford; Minister Fred Williams; Friendship Baptist Church; Mt. Anna Baptist Church; and the Aiken Community Choir which includes choirs from local high schools, churches, and individual community members.

Those interested in singing with the Aiken Community Choir should arrive for rehearsal at the Convocation Center by 2 p.m. Sunday.

This year’s event sponsors are:

  • Title Sponsor: Chandler Law Firm
  • Gold Sponsor: Bridgestone
  • Silver Sponsors: Aiken Electric Cooperative, Inc., Aiken Regional Medical Centers, Allstate, Atlantic Broadband, AT&T, City of Aiken, Margaret’s Garden Adult Day Care, Mead Hall, Security Federal Bank, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, SRP Federal Credit Union, and University Health Care System
  • Bronze Sponsors: Aiken Personnel Services, Concerned Ministers Fellowship, Aiken County Branch of the NAACP, Owens Corning, and Rural Health Services, Inc.
  • Community Supporters: Aramark Food Services, Art Nook, King Family Trio Violinists, Sun Solutions, WAAW Shout 94.7 FM, and WNRR Gospel 1380 AM


For more information about the event, visit or

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