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MLK Day of Service set

Oxford residents will be out in full force to remember Martin Luther King Jr. Day starting Saturday and continuing  on Monday.

In addition to ceremonies, Oxonians and University of Mississippi students will commemorate the holiday, Jan. 18, as a “Day of Service” for the community, in a fashion that would most likely be approved by the civil rights leader himself.

Sarah Ball, with Volunteer Oxford, said the Monday program will include leaders from Lafayette County, Oxford and Ole Miss and awards will be presented to four outstanding leaders in the L-O-U area.

Dr. Donald Cole, special assistant to the UM chancellor for multicultural affairs, will deliver the keynote address. Afterward, awards will be presented to four outstanding L-O-U volunteers in two categories. Community member recipients are Dr. Patrick Alexander and Jacqueline Certion, both of Oxford; and Dr. Judith Thompson of Abbeville. Faith Meyer of Austin, Texas, is the UM student recipient.

“This national day of service honors Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy and commitment to transforming our nation through service to others,” Ball said. “The LOU MLK Day of Service events and projects offer community members a chance to engage in a variety of opportunities that are designed to give back to the community and also promote volunteering throughout the year.”

Last year 884 volunteers from the LOU community participated in various volunteer opportunities and roughly 150 community members attended last year’s ceremony.

Many organizations in town are teaming up to make the Day of Service possible, and the Oxford School District is on board, promoting student involvement. Suzanne Ryals, principal of Bramlett Elementary School, said participation means more than just learning in a classroom about who King was and what he did.

“Martin Luther King Jr. lived his life with purpose following a dream,” Ryals said. “It is important that we support and encourage our students to follow their dreams, live their lives with purpose, and serve others in that pursuit.  Participating in MLK Day of Service activities gives us a great opportunity to continue our efforts to instill good citizenship and character traits into our students.”

Events include:

Saturday, Jan. 16

• Noon – 4 p.m. Community Food Drive at local grocery stores and pharmacies. Community members may donate nonperishable goods to the Pantry, Lovepacks, UM Food Bank and Delta Service Corps. For more information, contact Jeffery Peavy at peavyjeffery@gmail.com or Shannon Curtis at se.curtis9@gmail.com.

Monday, Jan. 18

• 9:30 a.m. Keynote & Awards Ceremony at the Oxford Activity Center, 400 Price St.

Speaker: Dr. Donald Cole

Presentation of LOU Outstanding Volunteer Awards

For more information, contact Ball at volunteer@oxfordms.net or 662-236-6662 or Kacey Schaum at krschaum@olemiss.edu or 662-915-7248.

• 10:45 – 11:45 a.m. 5k Safety Run, University Route

Speaker: Chief Tim Potts

Sponsored by UPD, Ole Miss Athletics, Run Oxford and RebelWell

Following the MLK keynote and awards ceremony, participate in a 5k “Safety Run” around the Ole Miss campus. Register at http://goo.gl/forms/gBY5DE0RZX.

Prior to the run, learn about safe running practices from University Police Department Chief Tim Potts.

For more information, contact Jessica Rizzi at jhrizzi@olemiss.edu or 662-915-7879.

• 1-2 p.m. food drive sorting

Community members are provided with opportunities to participate in food drive sorting and delivery. For more information, contact Sylvia Stewart at sstewar1@olemiss.edu or 662-915-1744.

• Afternoon Oxford Veterans Home Social

Community members will visit with seniors as they enjoy refreshments and music.

For more information, contact Sylvia Stewart at sstewar1@olemiss.edu or 662-915-1744.