Giving Back

Franklin Township's Twentieth Anniversary Community Breakfast: Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Twentieth Anniversary Franklin Township Community Breakfast Student Video
5b83758cfc35e5e1242b_DSC_0186.JPG
Sergeant Sean Hebbon
a165d52479489f0d9f49_DSC_0203.JPG
Members of Franklin Township's Police Department
47aee57f27d001d13126_DSC_0218.JPG
Zachias Noble
97124fc92487ed633d43_DSC_0262.JPG
Rabbi Eli Garfinkel
22f8113b2231218496cb_DSC_0321.JPG
Dr. Shirin Poustchi
6f8e211ee7b8b6f006d2_DSC_0338.JPG
President of FTMLKC Foundation Eva M. Nagy
3bb29f32af15e6e26a62_DSC_0350.JPG
Assemblyman Joe Danielson
0c14bcb0c5d84d37bf8b_DSC_0359.JPG
Freeholder Brian Levine
59346da861cb35da68b5_DSC_0373.JPG
Mayor Philip Kramer
ce4d7dc6fcad30d839bd_DSC_0390.JPG
Board of Education President Ed Potosnak
8695b2948a8e3f5d9869_DSC_0439.JPG
Dr. M. Ali Chaudry co-founder of the NJ Interfaith Coalition
dde21404747d7403a2af_DSC_0485.JPG
Frank V. Pepe
54aac0e84e81b47d524d_DSC_0512.JPG
Reverend Dr. Julia M. Hawks Presley
2ee158f67f5a7b63b547_DSC_0133.jpg
23d7b8f9e41f93cd8416_DSC_0134.JPG
6f5220fc6f1e753f3320_DSC_0145.JPG
addef8d963a1ac383bae_DSC_0159.JPG
51e87e95c4d7f5dec2b1_DSC_0165.JPG
d20b390fee920eaeb1c2_DSC_0134.JPG
af444d3d6a4d1a8e81ef_DSC_0159.JPG
63ea4940e090fccec213_DSC_0167.JPG
13d7fa420a6352ef1b27_DSC_0185.JPG
71ad33048734833319b8_DSC_0192.JPG
e294df6af378d06d0eb5_DSC_0195.JPG
d46477bfb2f5da171454_DSC_0196.JPG
a82f798bdfc5f156ff5a_DSC_0261.JPG
cc65103fc1275dafbeda_DSC_0264.JPG
cc79c21091f67aa0e3af_DSC_0267.JPG
38a0b076df732d670469_DSC_0288.JPG
7987d75bbcc35fdc4848_DSC_0290.JPG
11ae4c5084f6c881dfea_DSC_0295.JPG
eca98e880f490eb5d1d5_DSC_0368.JPG
5b83758cfc35e5e1242b_DSC_0186.JPG

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - Close to 500 hundred members of Franklin Township's community gathered Monday at Double Tree Hotel for the 20th anniversary of Franklin Township's Community Breakfast hosted by the Dr. Martin Luther King Community Foundation (FTMLKC Foundation). 

The annual event was created to bring the township together to honor the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and to raise scholarship money for students of Franklin High School. 

Sergeant Sean Hebbon of the Franklin Township Police Department and FTMLKC Foundation 1st vice president performed as the master of ceremonies and kicked off the event by saying:

Sign Up for E-News

“Twenty years ago this community began coming together each January to celebrate and honor Dr. King’s legacy, to continue to keep Dr. King's dream alive... Since 1998, the education and lives of 155 Franklin High graduating seniors have been supported and touched by this event and you!"

Many local businesses, religious groups, political organizations, not-for-profit agencies, police/fire, and community organizations of Franklin Township came out to give both their social and financial support. Unity Bank sponsored 10 children from each of the local public schools and Masjid-e-Ali sponsored a table of students from the Jafaria School of Central New Jersey. Franklin Township's school district administrators, teachers, and staff also were in attendance provided support for the breakfast. 

Franklin Township's Police Department opened with a Presentation of Colors accompanied by the singing of the "Star-Spangled Banner" by Dr. Angela Bodino. Zachias Noble, a 10-year-old member of the Somerset Chapter of the New Jersey Orators gave a speech titled "A Montage in Honor of Dr. King's Life" and received a standing ovation from the crowd. 

Rabbi Eli Garfinkel of Temple Beth El gave the offertory and dedication and reminded the attendees how the breakfast started at the old Franklin High School cafeteria and has grown every since. Dr. Shirin Poustchi of the Bahá'ís of Franklin Township who was awarded one of the scholarships in 2009 gave the invocation and shared a selection of guidance from the Bahá'ís writings and a Bahá'ís prayer. 

Eva M. Nagy, the president of FTMLKC Foundation invited various officials to give the attendees a special greeting. 

The first to speak was Assemblyman Joe Danielson, who told the crowd "if there is ever a time you need help please reach out to my office, my staff or me personally 24/7." 

Freeholder Brian Levine was the second official to speak and awarded the FTMLKC Foundation with a proclamation on behalf of the Freeholders of Somerset County.

Mayor Philip Kramer gave the third greeting and thanked the organizers of the breakfast and urged the crowd to Stand Up For The Other.

"Reject every attempt to separate any portion of decent humanity from the rest, that is the essence of Dr. King's struggle, and the essence of what this country stands for," Kramer said. 

Board of Education President Ed Potosnak spoke next and told the crowd how important scholarships are for many students and without them, it would be harder to get the education needed to open doors to new opportunities.  

Nagy then thanked and acknowledged many members and organizations of the community, before introducing Dr. M. Ali Chaudry co-founder of the NJ Interfaith Coalition to finish out the special greetings segment of the breakfast. 

Dr. Chaudry invited the crowd to take the  Stand Up For The Other pledge together as a group, and everyone in attendance obliged. Mayor Kramer and Township Council formally adopted the pledge in the form of a resolution last month, and on December 19 the entire legislature of New Jersey endorsed the pledge. 

The Community Fellowship Mass Choir performed "Anthem of Praise" which can be found below:

Frank V. Pepe who was one of three community leaders responsible for creating the Dr. Martin Luther King Community Breakfast 20 years ago was the day's Keynote speaker. Pepe urged the crowd to be bold in their expectations and confident in their ideals and values and to be persistent and strong in their convictions. Pepe quoted Dr. King saying “We are faced with the fierce urgency of now… Over the bleached bones and jumbled residue of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words: “Too late.” He then told the crowd we still have time a choice and each other to make sure we stand up for what is right and just. 

Reverend Dr. Julia M. Hawks Presley of First Baptist Church performed the benediction for the crowd. Before Dr. Presley led the prayer she reflected on how she was a senior in high school when Dr. King was assassinated and fell victim to racist encounters. “When you think about those things that we encounter in life they don’t make you angry or bitter, they make you better and stronger,” Presley said.

Community Fellowship Mass Choir and the audience closed out the event by singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and “God Bless America.”

"Diversity is beautiful, ensuring that we honor each other and hold each other up in dignity and working together is paramount and not only important here in our community but in our state, country and in the world," Nagy said after the breakfast. 

Did you like this story? 

Sign Up for E-News

Give us your feedback at mlyonsmlyons@tapinto.net.

If you did like it, please share with your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter, and don't forget to "Like" our FaceBook Page!

 

 

 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Franklin Township

New Jersey Heroes Honored for Saving Lives

June 18, 2018

Thirty-eight individuals and organizations in New Jersey were recently honored at the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association 2018 New Jersey American Heartsavers and Stroke Heroes Awards for their life-saving efforts. The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association’s American Heartsavers and Stroke Heroes Awards is held annually to commend individuals, ...

Bridgewater Police: Avoid Mall for Ongoing Police Investigation

June 14, 2018

UPDATE: According to a Nixle alert from the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 9 p.m., the investigation at the mall has been completed, and the mall will be resuming normal business operations.

Police emphasized that there is no immediate threat to the public and no injuries were reported.

Keep checking back for more information.

Related article: Bridgewater Mall Shut Down ...

Students Lead ‘Die-In’ at Congressman Lance’s Westfield Office; Summit Boy Arrested

WESTFIELD, NJ — Seventeen-year-old Summit High School student Ben Schachter was taken away in handcuffs Tuesday during a gun safety “die-in” protest led by local high school students at Congressman Leonard Lance's Westfield office. Lance was not present at the office at the time.

Read: Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman Talks Gun Violence, School Safety, ...

Dozens of Highland Park Residents Rally Against Recent ICE Detainment of Neighbor, Father of 4

Dozens of community members rallied in front of The Reformed Church of Highland Park on Friday afternoon to voice their opposition towards the recent detainment of local resident Cloyd Edralin by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The rally was planned just four days after Edralin, 47, a green card holder from the Philippines and father to four children who are U.S. citizens, was ...

Bridgewater Police: Avoid Mall for Ongoing Police Investigation

June 14, 2018

UPDATE: According to a Nixle alert from the Bridgewater Township Police Department at 9 p.m., the investigation at the mall has been completed, and the mall will be resuming normal business operations.

Police emphasized that there is no immediate threat to the public and no injuries were reported.

Keep checking back for more information.

Related article: Bridgewater Mall Shut Down ...

Students Lead ‘Die-In’ at Congressman Lance’s Westfield Office; Summit Boy Arrested

WESTFIELD, NJ — Seventeen-year-old Summit High School student Ben Schachter was taken away in handcuffs Tuesday during a gun safety “die-in” protest led by local high school students at Congressman Leonard Lance's Westfield office. Lance was not present at the office at the time.

Read: Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman Talks Gun Violence, School Safety, ...

Dozens of Highland Park Residents Rally Against Recent ICE Detainment of Neighbor, Father of 4

Dozens of community members rallied in front of The Reformed Church of Highland Park on Friday afternoon to voice their opposition towards the recent detainment of local resident Cloyd Edralin by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The rally was planned just four days after Edralin, 47, a green card holder from the Philippines and father to four children who are U.S. citizens, was ...

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Opening ReStore in Manville

June 19, 2018

MANVILLE, NJ - Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity is opening a Habitat ReStore in the Marketplace at Manville, next to Walmart on North Main Street in Manville, this fall.

At the store, RVHFH will pick up gently used furniture and goods from Somerset and Hunterdon county residents, and give them a second life at the store's grand opening.

To schedule a time for RVHFH to pick ...

Summer Camp Programs for Children and Teens Announced By Environmental Education Center

BERNARDS TWP., NJ – Each summer, the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Basking Ridge holds programs that let children and teens explore nature for summer activities that both entertaining and an opportunity to learn about the environment.

The programs are organized and led by the EEC's staff of naturalists.

The EEC is a Somerset County facility located at 190 Lord ...

Somerset County Employees' Health Center Opens in Somerville

SOMERVILLE, NJ - The Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders and officials from Integrity Health gathered for a June 12 ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new health care facility on East Main Street.

The Somerset County Partnership Health Center (SCPHC) will serve as an on-site health, wellness and care coordination center for employees of Somerset County, the county park commission, the ...

Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity Opening ReStore in Manville

June 19, 2018

MANVILLE, NJ - Raritan Valley Habitat for Humanity is opening a Habitat ReStore in the Marketplace at Manville, next to Walmart on North Main Street in Manville, this fall.

At the store, RVHFH will pick up gently used furniture and goods from Somerset and Hunterdon county residents, and give them a second life at the store's grand opening.

To schedule a time for RVHFH to pick ...

Summer Camp Programs for Children and Teens Announced By Environmental Education Center

BERNARDS TWP., NJ – Each summer, the Environmental Education Center (EEC) in Basking Ridge holds programs that let children and teens explore nature for summer activities that both entertaining and an opportunity to learn about the environment.

The programs are organized and led by the EEC's staff of naturalists.

The EEC is a Somerset County facility located at 190 Lord ...