FANWOOD/SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Nearly 1,000 local youth and adults participated in the 10th annual Scotch Plains-Fanwood MLK Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 21. 

Billed as a "Day On, Not a Day Off," the event provided opportunities for volunteers to participate in a range of different service activities, including sandwich-making for the homeless, creating flower pots for Center for Hope Hospice, creating Valentine's Day cards for veterans, and a blood drive held at the JCC

The kick-off ceremonies at the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA (FSPY) included opening welcoming remarks from event co-chair Michelle Abraham, YMCA CEO Kim Decker, and Leland McGee, president of Social Justice Matters. A highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of an award to Tuskegee Airman Malcolm Nettingham, age 100, who moved to Scotch Plains at the age of 5 and, through his service in WWII, helped to integrate the U.S. military. 

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The event also featured a stirring performance of "We Shall Overcome," by a community choir led by Canter Matt Axelrod of Congregation Beth Israel, a reading of selections of Dr. Martin Luther King's speeches, and closing remarks from Rabbi Joel Abraham of Temple Sholom. 

In addition to the hundreds of volunteers, elected officials from Fanwood, Scotch Plains, and Union County were on hand. is Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s only free daily paper. Sign up for our daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and twitter @SPF_TAP. Download the free TAPinto App for iPhone or Android.