Porter wins essay contest
Approximately 25 people braved the frigid weather to attend the 18th annual MLK breakfast and essay contest at the Church of Cassopolis.
Melvin “Chef” Miller prepared eggs, bacon, sausage, grits, hash browns and biscuits for those in attendance to feast upon.
There were four judges for the essay contest, which had just three entrants this year.
Keith Porter took first place with his essay on Mae Jemison, the first black woman astronaut to go into space.
Amirah Lee finished second with her essay on Martin Luther King, Jr. and Otto Reich IV took third place with his essay on a slave called Josiah.
Sharon Wyrick and Cynthia Jackson-Ash spoke on concerns and history of the community. Carmen Peake, the coordinator of the event, told the group that there will be events year long and not just to do everything in one day.
Due to the cold weather the Freedom March did not take place.
The evening service at United Presbyterian Church was attended by 75 people.
The youth choirs from Calvin Community Baptist, First Baptist of Vandalia and the Church of Cassopolis Youth of Judah performed musical selections.
The essay contest winners read their speeches.
“We also had powerful speeches on the theme The Dream Forgotten, Where are the Dreamers? by Carmalita Lawson, Kimberly Brown, Brandon Anderson, Imani Brown and Madison Brooks,” Peake said. “The speeches challenged all to get more involved in their community and education of the youth. Carmalita and Kim talked about how it has been four years since our community dreamer, Dan Lee, has been gone.
“They told the audience there is a need to pick up where he left off and continue to be an advocate for the youth, that seem to fall between the cracks.”
A community-wide unity march will be planned in the spring.