View Full Version : Montford Point Marines celebrate Martin Luther King, Barack Obama

01-19-09, 07:46 PM
Montford Point Marines celebrate Martin Luther King, Barack Obama
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January 19, 2009 - 6:45 PM

Lt. Col. Grover C. Lewis III said Barack Obama's inauguration today does not mean a conclusion to Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream.

"Both had a dream and they dreamed big and both were willing to work to make their dream a reality," said Lewis, the guest speaker at the Dreamers' Celebration Luncheon. "Is the dream fulfilled? Not until we are all great people, dreaming and living the dream. Our responsibility is to be active participants. Fulfilling hopes and dreams is a participatory process."

About 30 people gathered Monday for the luncheon at the Montford Point Marine Association Building in Jacksonville to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the upcoming inauguration of President-elect Obama.

"It's just to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, the man with the dream," said Louise Greggs, with the MaLiz Lifestyle Academy, which hosted the event. "We're so happy at this time that Dr. King's dream has come to fruition, and I think Dr. Martin Luther King's dream is Barack Obama."

Founded in 2004, the academy teaches youth ages 10 to 21 years old life skills such as money management and interviewing skills.

"We're the ones that step in where schools and churches leave off," said founder Elizabeth Koen. "We kind of take their dreams and teach them how to develop those dreams into a plan."

The luncheon featured a guest speaker, several musical performances, and a fashion show highlighting traditional African garb.

Koen said she chose to have the luncheon Monday because the academy focuses on helping youth realize their goals.

"It's about dreaming. It's about not just dreaming in vain, it's about taking a step and mapping it out," she said.

Jacksonville resident James Averhart enjoyed the luncheon.

"It was important to come over to support this event and honor Dr. King," he said. "It's not just African American history, its American history and I like being a part of that."

This was the first luncheon hosted by the MaLiz Lifestyle Academy, but Greggs said she hopes to make this an annual event.

"This is something we're doing, we hope it will catch on," she said.

Proceeds from the luncheon benefited the academy.

For more information on the MaLiz Lifestyle Academy and its upcoming classes call 910-333-0239.

Contact Jacksonville/Onslow government reporter Molly DeWitt at 910-219-8455 or mdewitt@freedomenc.com.