The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Day Luncheon was held Monday, Jan. 20, in the Riverview Community Room at the V. O. Dobbins Community Center, immediately following the MLK Day March and before the Candlelight Vigil.
This 2020 event was also the 20th year of the luncheon, sponsored by the New Vision Youth, South Central Kingsport Community Development Corporation, and the Kingsport Housing and Redevelopment Authority. The first MLK Day Luncheon was held by New Vision Youth 20 years ago in the old Douglass School cafeteria in the community center.
Neighbors and friends, both young and old, joined together for food and fellowship. The Kingsport Chamber of Commerce sponsored the food. More than 125 people enjoyed delicious barbeque, baked beans, chips and cole slaw provided by Center Street Barbeque in Kingsport. Cupcake desserts were furnished by the Phi Omega Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority in Kingsport.
Miss Sullivan County Caitlyn Ison and Miss Kingsport Taylor Hubbard (pictured below) attended, along with Mayor Pat Shull who read a proclamation declaring Monday, Jan. 20, as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in Kingsport.
During the event, the Appalachian Literacy Initiative donated more than 70 new books for children and youth ages 5 and up. The donation included books about Dr. King, Rosa Parks and other Civil Rights pioneers, as well as STEM books, and books about anti-bullying and diversity. The free books are for New Vision Youth and children of the community. The books are located at the Riverview Boys and Girls Club and the South Central Kingsport Community Development office. To learn more about the books or use of them, contact Johnnie Mae Swagerty at (423) 429-7553.