Local events commemorate MLK Jr. Day

GCC, Orange plan activities for today

Events honoring Martin Luther King Jr. in Greenfield and Orange today will focus not only on remembering the legacy of the man himself, but also on carrying out the values that he fought for, event organizers say.

It is the 27th year that the federal holiday has been celebrated in remembrance of King — a minister and outspoken activist in the African-American Civil Rights Movement until his assassination in 1968. King would have turned 83 this week.

At GCC today

Morning activities at Greenfield Community College will include some service projects, like making cards for veterans, said Judy Raper, the college’s director of student development.

After a registration period in GCC’s main lobby, activities will kick off at 10 a.m. — with a range of events targeted at ages 6 through 16, said Raper.

A construction paper “quilt,” containing thoughts on what the man and holiday mean to them, will be constructed. There will also be service projects, arts and crafts, games and rock wall climbing.

In the North Quabbin region

And in the North Quabbin region, the Martin Luther King Day Celebration Committee and Hands Across North Quabbin will team up to lead community service projects in Athol and Orange.

An afternoon workshop — at the Mission Covenant Church on Pleasant Street in Orange — will focus on forgiveness and will kick off the planning phase of a special local community art project, said Mark Shoul, director of Hands Across North Quabbin.

In Orange, at the Mission Covenant Church, breakfast is set for 9 a.m., before people branch off into community service projects from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

A 1 p.m. workshop — a part of the Value of Forgiveness Project that a collaboration of community organizations is undertaking — will feature short stories about forgiveness from North Quabbin residents, said Shoul.

Area artists are encouraged to attend the workshop, he said, and then submit proposals for a piece of art that represents that community’s ideas about forgiveness. The artwork will be constructed in the spring.

Lunch, Inauguration viewing

Both events today are free and include lunch. They also will both feature a viewing of the presidential inauguration from noon to 1 p.m.

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