(ROCHESTER)—”Through faith, we continue.” This was a theme that connected every person in attendance at the 2014 Dr. Martin Luther King Oratorical Banquet held in Rochester, Pa., on Sunday, Jan 26.
The oratorical banquet, which is organized by the Martin Luther King Celebration committee, led by Eugenia Waldron Priest, honors the student winners of the Oratorical contest, held last November, while remembering the essence of Dr. King’s vision.
“It is important to ensure the youth know King’s dream, and show us they can be the leaders of tomorrow. Their speeches they share tonight show us our communities are in good hands,” said Valerie McElvy, the evening’s program leader.
The evening’s festivities began with a warm welcome from Eldress Mary Cuspard, followed by an invocation from Pastor Jumar Mike and an opening solo from Esther Gilbert. Shortly after, renowned jazz artist Betty Douglas gave a moving musical selection, and was followed by the winning speeches from the students in the 4th, 5th, and 6th/7th grade categories followed by the 8th/9th grade and 10th/11th grade winners.