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Martin Luther King Jr. events keep the dream alive
Ceremonies to celebrate memory, service of MLK
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The Newtown Florist Club, the historic civil rights advocacy organization in Gainesville, has revived the Martin Luther King holiday celebrations for 2016, including a day of volunteer action, worship services and a unity march through the city.

Newtown Executive Director Rose Johnson said the club established a planning committee this year headed by Gainesville High School students. 

“Our goal has been to develop and implement a weeklong inclusive and diverse celebration of Dr. King and his efforts for peace, social and economic justice, as well as rejuvenating a longtime tradition in that this is Newtown’s 46th year of hosting the observance,” she added.

Broadening outreach efforts to a new, racially diverse generation of supporters has been key to helping re-establish the holiday’s meaning in Gainesville.

“Our vision for this new work is to walk in the spirit of Dr. King toward a more inclusive community that honors the principles of equality, fairness and a genuine respect for the dignity of persons,” Johnson said. “The young people have done an incredible job. The ideas for each event are theirs. They are great teachers and we honor their steadfast commitment to “Keeping the Dream Alive.’”

For more information and to order King holiday T-shirts, call Rose Johnson, executive director of the Newtown Florist Club, at 770-718-1343 or email

King Day celebration events

Day of Service

When: Jan. 17

Where: Interested volunteers are asked to give their time and help at any local nonprofit

46th King Holiday March and Observance

When: Jan. 18. Assembly at noon and March begins at 1 p.m. Observance program follows at 2 p.m. at Fair Street School, 695 Fair St.

Where: Meet at the Butler Center, 1300 Athens St., Gainesville