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Call of Martin Luther King resounds in RF

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For the second year local volunteers have created an opportunity for people to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with a commemorative holiday breakfast.

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The group has 200 $5 tickets to the Monday, Jan. 19, event happening 7-9:30 a.m. in St. Bridget Catholic Church's fellowship hall, 211 E. Second St. Doors open at 7 a.m. and breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m.

The program starts at 8 a.m. and will include a telecast of the "main" breakfast happening simultaneously in Minneapolis and featuring keynote speaker General Colin Powell (retired).

The local audience will also enjoy a performance by the River Falls Community Gospel Choir led by retired high school vocal teacher Roger Tweiten, youth art and poetry and seeing the Emerging Legends Award winner named.

This year's theme focuses on young people who serve others through community volunteerism. Organizers ask that nominations be postmarked before Friday, Jan. 9, and addressed to Mayor Don Richards: c/o Emerging Legends/River Falls City Hall/123 E. Elm St./River Falls (54022), or e-mailed by Sunday, Jan. 11, to drichards@rfcity.org.

Eligible nominees must be River Falls residents 21 or younger who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and active service in the community. Anyone can suggest potential winners, and self nominations are accepted if they include two references.

According to some event organizers and information on St. Bridget's Web site, breakfast coordinators are "inaugurating an Emerging Legend Award to honor a young person for his or her outstanding service to the River Falls Community."

The theme of this year's event is: "Because of his dream we can lead, grow and inspire."

A main goal of the breakfast is to create a springboard for service in local homes and communities as well as the world. River Falls is one of several communities hosting a holiday breakfast in conjunction with the main event in Minneapolis.

Richards anticipates that Powell's speech will focus on both the ever-increasing need for volunteers and the value of volunteer service. He said after covering food costs, whatever money is left from ticket sales will be donated to River Falls' Diversity Committee, a five-year-old 10-person group that meets monthly.

"We just emphasize the value of inclusiveness, diversity and tolerance..." Richards said.

The MLK Holiday Breakfast hosts include several River Falls entities: Community Arts Board (CAB), Hope Lutheran Church's Outreach Committee, River Falls Diversity Committee, St. Bridget's Social Justice Committee, St. Croix Valley Restorative Justice Program and the Unitarian Universalist Society's Social Action Committee.

St. Bridget's Web site lists eight contacts for information, depending on what a person needs to know. Organizer Faye Perkins credits fellow organizer Kathy Scott for not only championing last year's inaugural effort to bring the breakfast to River Falls but also for energizing volunteers to make this year's event bigger and better.

Perkins also said coordinators need volunteers to help set up on Sunday evening as well as serve breakfast Monday morning. Anyone interested in either or both may contact her at 425-8218 or faye.j.perkins@uwrf.edu.

People may buye tickets while they last and on a first-come first-served basis at Whole Earth Grocery, 126 S. Main St., or by contacting ticket volunteer Yunge Dutton at 425-9198 or yunge.dutton@uwrf.edu.

Award nomination forms and other information may be found online at www.saintbridgets.org.

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