Residents have many options to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. on MLK Day, Monday. The holiday was declared as a national day of service in 1994.
“There are well over 1 million people engaged in community service each year,” said Steve Klein, a spokesman for the King Center near downtown Atlanta. “The holiday has been made not only a day of remembrance, but also a day of action to help.”
Kevin McCauley, president of the Blue Heron Nature Preserve in Buckhead, has organized a community service project with Hands On Atlanta at the preserve.
“We do several projects throughout the year,” he said.
McCauley is calling for 50 volunteers to help build part of a trail around an old mill site, along with installing a split-rail fence, spreading wood chips and other odd jobs.
Hands On Atlanta has helped organize projects and recruit volunteers for projects for MLK Day by posting them on its website.
“There are lots of projects people can do on their own in their neighborhoods,” said Kimber Burgess, director of development for the nonprofit. “Especially for us in Atlanta. This is his hometown. It’s an honor and a privilege for people to do something that honors his legacy.”
The organization is also sponsoring MLK Day America’s Sunday Supper, designed to bring people of different backgrounds together for a meal and discussion of community issues. More information is available on the organization’s website.
Other projects the Atlanta chapter is sponsoring in the area include:
Nursecare of Buckhead
2920 Pharr Court South, Atlanta
Volunteers will play bingo with residents, make jewelry and serve snacks.
3601 Piedmont Road NE, Atlanta
Volunteers will paint a mural of the community and clean the interior of the high-rise.
Also, several local schools are celebrating King’s legacy with a day of service. Area events celebrating King’s life include:
Salute to Greatness Dinner
The King Center will host its Salute to Greatness Dinner, the nonprofit’s biggest fundraiser, Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Hotel Centennial Ballroom in downtown Atlanta. Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Gameen Bank and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, will be honored, along with Aflac.
Information: www.thekin gcent r.org /salute-greatness-award-2013.
Ignatius House Retreat
Ignatius House Retreat Center, 6700 Riverside Drive, Sandy Springs, will host the Day of Reflection in honor of MLK Day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, led by Diana L. Hayes, J.D. and PhD. Hayes is a retired professor of systematic theology, which she taught at Georgetown University. Hayes will lead a mass. Light breakfast and lunch is included.
Information: (404) 255-0503 or www.ignatiushouse.org.
The city of Sandy Springs will host a MLK Day celebration Monday at the Sandy Springs City Hall Council Chambers, 7840 Roswell Road, Building 500, at 10 a.m. Rodney Bullard, executive director of the Chick-fil-A Foundation, will be this year’s keynote speaker. Music will be provided by Spalding Charter Elementary School choir students and Michael Night, the “New York Cowboy,” who will perform two original songs. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
The MLK birthday observance Annual Commemorative Service will be Monday at Ebenezer Baptist Church — Horizon Sanctuary, 407 Auburn Ave., beginning at 8 a.m. The keynote speaker will be the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of The National Christian Leadership Conference. Recording artist Angella Christie will perform. The event is free and open to the public.
March and rally
The Martin Luther King Jr. March Committee will hold its annual King Day march and rally Monday at 1:15 p.m. at the intersection of Peachtree and Baker streets in downtown Atlanta.
Greenfield Hebrew Academy
The Katherine and Jacob Greenfield Hebrew Academy, 5200 Northland Drive in Sandy Springs, will host a gospel concert featuring Morehouse College’s Uzee Brown Society of Choraliers Jan. 26 at 7:30 p.m. to honor King. The concert is free, but attendees must reserve a seat by Jan. 23.
Information: email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In honor of MLK Day, the Legoland Discovery Center at Phipps Plaza in Buckhead is inviting local students to submit a photo depicting their “perfect world” for a chance to win a field trip to the attraction. The “Draw Your Dream” art contest is open to classrooms and students in kindergarten through fourth grade. The deadline for submissions is Friday.
Information: http://bit.ly/LDCartMLK or www.LEGOLANDDiscoveryCenter.com.
Atlanta History Center
The Atlanta History Center, 130 W. Paces Ferry Road in Buckhead, will preview February’s Black History Month by offering free admission on Monday.