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RF will not hold MLK Holiday breakfast this year

Community members of all ages have participated in past Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday breakfasts in River Falls. Shown, participants at the 2018 breakfast. This year, River Falls will not hold a local event, but contributors are hopeful that the event will return next year. File photo

River Falls has had a local Martin Luther King Jr. holiday breakfast since 2008. Unfortunately, this year, after 11 previous annual breakfasts, organizer Kathy Scott said this year's breakfast will not be happening.

At least, not in River Falls. Several other breakfasts, which the River Falls event coordinated with in years pasts, will continue.

Scott said a variety of circumstances, some of them personal, have kept this year's event from happening. She's hoping the event can make a comeback next year.

"Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was very much a promoter of community and of service to others," Scott said, "and because of that, I think, nationwide, a lot of groups will get together and do a service project, or remember Dr. King's call not only to service but for everybody to look at the context of character rather than the color of skin."

Carl Warren, who has many times served as emcee for the holiday breakfast, thinks it is very important for the breakfast to return next year.

"If there was ever a need for an event like this one," said Warren, "where the community comes together to celebrate the principles that we share in common, regardless of where we are on the political spectrum, it is now, when our nation is so divided and there is so little bipartisan engagement or effort to solve problems in our community."

Warren said he believes the local breakfasts are an important opportunity for the community to come together and honor the memory of Martin Luther King Jr.

"And reflect on the principles that he held dear," Warren said. "And to honor our youth and encourage them as they embrace these principles and also to highlight the organizations and the individuals within the River Falls community who are providing for the needs of the community ,especially those who are experiencing hardship."

River Falls Lion Mike Stifter also described the event as needed in the community.

"It's just a testament to the kinds of the things the community itself stands for," Stifter said.

Passing the torch

Scott has organized the breakfasts since they began and is looking for someone to take over next year. She's looking for a person, group or organization ready, willing and able to take over.

Previous breakfasts have been hosted at St. Bridget Catholic Church, with food provided by the River Falls Lions Club.

Local schools have also been involved.

Scott has information, data and files ready to share with whoever takes over the program for next year.

Anyone interested can contact her at keps54@gmail.com.

Other celebrations

Though the local breakfast won't be held this year, there are still opportunities to honor this holiday.

"I feel really sad that we're not holding it in River Falls this year, but I'm very excited that there's two community breakfasts that are close and one in Red Wing and one in Stillwater," Scott said.

"I think it's a wonderful way to start the day."

Scott said the programs will emphasize youth, their contributions and community service, and incorporate a keynote speaker.

For more information, or for reservations visit: https://interfaithaction.org/mlk

The main event is broadcast, including music and keynote speaker, on Twin Cities Public Television, TPT. According to tpt.org, the breakfast will air on Monday, Jan. 21 at 8 a.m., on TPT2 and TPT MN, and at 7 p.m., on TPT MN.

Other celebrations include: music, poetry, VocalEssence youth choir, art activities and service projects at the Minnesota History Center, St. Paul, and other events and activities listed at https://www.familyfuntwincities.com/2019-mlk-monday-events.

Gretta Stark

Gretta Stark has been a reporter for the River Falls Journal since July of 2013. She previously worked as a reporter for the New Richmond News from June 2012 to July 2013. She holds a BA in Print and Electronic Media from Wartburg College.

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