Frontiers Club sees Civil Rights achievements in Inauguration
UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Mohawk Valley Frontiers Club held their 29th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Luncheon Monday. While the focus of the luncheon was on the civil rights activist and his legacy, organizers felt President Obama's Second Inauguration happening on the same day played an important role in celebrating the holiday, the President's second term a symbol of the achievements the U.S. has made in equality. Almost 400 people filled Utica's Radisson Hotel for the annual luncheon an event organizers say is important in recognizing the past to look to the future. "The man has changed the nation," said Mohawk Valley Frontiers Club President Richard Davis. "He's changed the world in some cases, preaching love, preaching non violence and I think we need more of that right now." Davis says he hopes the luncheon and day in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will remind people of the achievements that can be made without violence. It's a similar message the event's guest speaker Reverend Marilyn Bell preached her theme, love. "That was his message, that was his life, that was his driving force that sent him forth in the world to do the job what he had to do," said Reverend Marilyn Bell, of St. Paul's Baptist Church. "Because he was a preacher first of all above all the other things, he was a man of God, and God is love." Reverend Bell says Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s achievements in civil rights are evident today, as America watched the first African American President begin his second term in office. "Part of his dream has been realized in that our country has elected an African American not based on the color of their skin but based on the conscious of his character," said Reverend Bell. "And I think that encompasses what love is for us when we allow people to be who they are and not judge them for what they are but who they are, who they are inside." Celebrating two men on the same day, what the Reverend feels is no coincidence. Two Scholastic Achievement Awards were also given out at the luncheon to Epiphany Storey and Faith Daniels of Rome Free Academy.