The start of 2017 is turning out to be an extraordinary and surprising year for guests and honorees attending the 38th Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast presented by the Gary Frontiers Service Club on January 14th. This affair has grown to be the preeminent event in remembrance of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s work in Gary with over 650 guests.
On the dais were notable people representing Indiana’s city, state, and federal government as well as the church. All in attendance were reminded of the sacrifice made by Dr. King, the uncertainty of the times during the era of Trump and the hope that we share from each of these distinguished individuals on the program. There were several newcomers to the programs, Pastor Jackie Drago-Hunter, Indiana’s first African American Attorney General Curtis Hill, and Pastor Curtis Lee, as well as Community Contributors Dorothy R. Leavell, publisher of the Gary Crusader Newspaper and Rosemarie Joiner, Cub Director for the John Will Anderson Boys and Girls Club.
Eight Marchers were individually recognized for their personal commitment and dedication to serving others before the lights were dimmed and candles lit. Members of the Gary Frontiers escorted the two Drum Major Awards into the room as a bell rang and the names of all Drum Majors was announced. This year was one of those exceptional years in which two Drum Majors were honored — Denise C. Dillard and James L. Holloway.
Surprised with a first of its kind award for her dedication and commitment to the Gary community was this newspaper’s Editor and Publisher, Dorothy R. Leavell. Mrs. Leavell is the publisher of two papers, the Gary and Chicago Crusader Newspapers. In her remarks she shared the reality of the newspaper business as she reminded the guests of the numerous other newspapers that have come and gone. Leavell’s sacrifice in order to provide the citizens of Gary their own news is why she was the recipient of the 2017 Gary Frontiers Gratitude Award.