FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - All Franklin Township residents are welcome to attend the 20th Anniversary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Breakfast at the Double Tree Hotel on Jan. 16, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. 

In 1997 three community leaders, the Superintendent of Schools Frank V. Pepe, the Board of Education President Eva M. Nagy and the Chief of Police Daniel J. Livak, had the vision to create an opportunity to bring all aspects of Franklin Township’s very diverse community together in honoring the life and works of Dr. Martin King and fulfilling Dr. King’s dream of unity among the races.  They created The Dr. Martin Luther King Community Breakfast Committee which was composed of various community leaders and citizens.  A mission statement was developed and it has been followed ever since. 

The breakfast is hosted by the Dr. Martin Luther King Community Foundation to bring this diverse community in breaking bread together and to honor and celebrate Dr. King.  In addition, the breakfast is to benefit Franklin High School seniors with scholarships to attend institutions of higher learning or certificate programs.  This year’s breakfast will include a table of students, one from each public school. The Trustees felt it was important for future generations to experience that Dr. Kings Dream is alive in their rich diverse Franklin Township.

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In order for a Franklin High School student to receive a scholarship, they must submit an essay and exhibit act(s) of community involvement. Some past recipients tutored, coached local sports teams, mentored youths, volunteered in local not-for-profit agencies, participated in fundraising activities, and many more acts of kindness. 

President of the Franklin Township Dr. Martin Luther King Community Foundation Eva Nagy said the following was an excerpt of one of the many memorable essays submitted last year:

“Franklin  Township  is a community  rich in diversity and continues to serve  as a gateway to waves  of individuals and families seeking  the "American Dream." There are many challenges facing a community like mine and there are people who would  resort  to going against Dr. King's dream and creating  a bias that brings  the community  down.”

“However, we must reject hate and embrace love, as he said, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." Today we advocate, like Dr.  King did, to stand up for ourselves and overcome adversity in a place like Franklin Township where there is so many different types of people and cultures present.  Martin Luther King’s legacy is hope; the hope that you can  change the world into a better place  if you try.” 

The MLK Community Breakfast has awarded over 150 Franklin High School seniors with over $150,000 in scholarships ranging from $500 to $3000. The hope this year is to raise $20,000 in scholarships to honor their 20th anniversary. This year’s Keynote speaker will be former Superintendent of Franklin Township Schools Frank V. Pepe, who is also one of three of the community members that started the breakfast back in 1998. 

The Mission of the Franklin Township Dr. Martin Luther King Community Foundation is to fulfill Dr. Martin Luther King’s Dream of unity among the races through promotion of racial harmony, equality and justice for all, opportunity for building strong relations among all people, educational opportunities and services, scholarships for the youth of Franklin Township and unity celebrations for our entire community. 

“I need to say the most rewarding committee has been the MLK breakfast because it continues to be most inspiring,”  said Gary Rosenthal, 2nd Vice President of MLK Community Foundation and Chair of Franklin Township’s Human Relations Commission. “It brings the community together and more important has helped our youth move on to higher heights by awarding scholarships. This annual event has indeed kept Franklin Township strong and can only continue to have our great community recognized by all.”

Visit their website www.FTMLK.org for additional information about the Breakfast, tickets and their Foundation. 

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