Several local schools, community organizations and religious groups have organized a number of events for this year's Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which falls on Monday, Jan. 18. Through the use of public works, community action and interfaith unity, they plan to honor Dr. King's memory by improving communities in the same spirit that he did.
Mamaroneck High School will not be in session on Monday, but will sponsor a day of service, partnering with several local non-profit organizations to facilitate student volunteer work. The event, which is in its first year, will see students active all over the county, volunteering with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the Community Action Program (CAP) Center, New Rochelle's United Hebrew Geriatric Center and a home for disadvantaged women in White Plains.
Students at the home in White Plains will be taking part in a "day of beauty," where they will bring makeup and cosmetics to disadvantaged women in order to help raise their self-esteem, said Debbie Manetta, the school's director of public information. As of Friday, over 150 students had signed up to volunteer.
In conjunction with MHS, the CAP Center will be hosting a mural painting on Monday. All members of the community will be welcome to take part in the activity, which will take place at 134 Center Ave. in Mamaroneck starting at 10 a.m.
Director Guisela Marroquin explained that the mural will focus on three age groups - early childhood, adolescence and adulthood - which are the three groups that the center primarily serves. The mural was outlined on Friday by four MHS art students.
Even if we are still a day away from the official Martin Luther King Day, the community has already started to celebrate the memory of Dr. King. On Jan. 13, the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Human Rights Committee put together a ceremony at the Emelin Theater to recognize Doris "Mother" Jackson and the Kids for World Health organization for their contributions to the community.
On Friday morning, MHS faculty advisor Shannon Turner-Porter led an assembly in the McClain Auditorium for students to remember and put to practice the actions of Martin Luther King Jr.
On Friday night, the Larchmont Temple and the non-denominational Strait Gate Church held their 16th annual Church-Synagogue "Service for the Soul," an interfaith event orchestrated by Rabbi Jeffrey Sirkman and Bishop Wayne Powell. Highlights of the service included the two choirs singing together, which Rabbi Sirkman referred to as "a great gift," as well as the launching of the joint book share group, which read Mitch Albom's Have A Little Faith.
This Sunday at 10 a.m., the Church-Synagogue Exchange will continue at the Strait Gate Church.
In a phone interview, Sirkman referred to the annual joint service as a "wonderful affirmation of the parternship we've shared for many years," and said that he and Bishop Powell hoped to spread a "message of community and hope."
These are only some of the events going on in the area. If you are available on Monday to volunteer, contact the participating groups for more information and don't forget to let Patch know about it.