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Martin Luther King Celebration Committee to Hold Virtual Event Sunday

The Martin Luther King Celebration Committee said this year’s events will take on a different look due to the Coronavirus.

Committee Co-Chairs Rev. Ignatius Sasmita, S.J. and Ron Scott, Jr. announced that the annual March, slated for Sunday, January 17, has been cancelled out of an abundance of caution and to adhere with the State of West Virginia guidelines. The Committee has added a virtual event that will pay tribute to Dr. King’s legacy.

“During our recent meeting, the committee made the difficult decision to not hold the annual March. Given the increased number of COVID cases locally, our members believe protecting the health and safety of our community is most important at this time,” said Fr. Sasmita.

To involve the community in the celebration, the MLK Committee has compiled video presentations from lay and religious community leaders, musical recordings from area choirs and individuals, and readings from students and athletes from Wheeling University. This presentation will be available for the local community to view Sunday, January 17.

“Pastor Alan Flaitz of Fourth Street United Methodist Church in Wheeling, has recorded and has edited all of the readings, testimonials, musical recordings, talks and award presentations into a hour-long video, which can be viewed on the Committee’s Facebook page – as well as Wheeling University’s YouTube channel – This video compilation has allowed community members to pay tribute to Dr. King and honor his legacy,” said Scott.

Recently, the MLK Celebration Committee announced that two women and two men who have long worked to build better communities will be honored by the Wheeling Martin Luther King Celebration Committee.

Ellen Saunders of Moundsville and Judi Saunders of Bridgeport will receive the Rosa Parks Award, and Daniel Dudley of Wellsburg and Chase Watts of Martins Ferry will receive the Martin Luther King Award for their contributions in eliminating racial inequity and promoting peace and harmony. Each has worked diligently to improve the quality of life for all people.