By Morgan Bryce
The cities of Auburn and Opelika celebrated the legacy of Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Monday.
Hundreds of people gathered at Opelika High School’s Center for the Performing Arts for the Dream Day Foundation’s 20th annual event.
The theme of this year’s event was “20 Years of Reclaiming the Dream,” featuring powerful renditions of recited poetry and songs from previous years, including an audience-rousing rendition of the gospel standard “God is Able.”
Near the end of the event, Executive Director Marion Sankey announced Opelika native and House District 83 Rep. Jeremy Gray as the recipient of the 2019 Dream Achiever Award, given to individuals who strive to make a different and impact for good in Opelika and beyond.
“Being chosen as the 2019 Recipient for the Dream Achiever Award was a surreal moment. I think about the past recipients of this award and those who have the task of selecting the recipients; it speaks volumes that I would be nominated for such a prestigious award,” Gray said on receiving the award. “I’m honored and I believe it’s important to never forget those who have paved the way. My destiny is not of my own but of those who have come before me. I just stand on their shoulders and I accept the path they created while creating a path for the generations to come.”
For more information about the Dream Day Foundation and its other initiatives, visit www.thedreamdayfoundation.org.
Auburn University hosted the 25th annual “Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Breakfast Celebration,” which featured award and scholarship presentations as well as a keynote speech from Alabama State University President Quinton Ross.
Odalys Silvera, from Esperanza House, a nonprofit that serves the local Hispanic community, received the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award.
Other award winners were the Lee County Youth Development Center recieving the Education Award, Kingston Frazier received the Young Community Service Award, Alison Frazier was awarded the Distinguished Service Award and Carolyn Morton was awarded a Community Service Award.
Lauren Marshall from Opelika High School and Daleya Scaife from Auburn High were awarded scholarships.