MLK birthday celebration Friday at VA Medical Center

  • Posted: Monday, January 14, 2013 9:17 a.m.
    UPDATED: Tuesday, January 15, 2013 12:28 a.m.

The W.G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center will honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with the annual birthday celebration on Friday, Jan. 18, at 1 p.m. in the social room in Building 6. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Patrick Graham, CEO of The Urban League of Central Carolina. He will speak on the program’s theme, “Stepping into Martin’s Promised Land.”

The 2013 MLK Jr. Humanitarian Award will be awarded to Herman “Tony” Fisher, rural health driver/veteran liaison. Rebecca Stinson will be the soloist, accompanied by Phyllis Partee.

On Monday, winners of the annual student essay contests read their entries. The elementary school entries addressed “The Meaning of Martin’s Dream,” and middle school entries addressed “A Man Called Martin – His Life, His Work, His Dream.” High school and employee entries addressed “The Legacy of a Man: Dr. King’s Life and Impact on American Society.”

The winners in the elementary school division are:

First place — Kayla Young, Sacred Heart Catholic School; Alexis Mangus, North Hills Christian School.

Second place — Quinnlan Watson, Overton Elementary School; Dwayne Bivins, Overton Elementary School; Marina Muller, Sacred Heart Catholic School.

Third place — Nichol I. Warren, Cleveland Elementary School; Liberty Koontz, Morgan Elementary School Jalen Houston, North Hills Christian School.

Honorable mention — Nathaniel Kimball, Bostian Elementary School; Kira Rymer, Bostian Elementary School; Damian A. Brandon, Salisbury Academy.

The winners in the middle school division are:

First place — Ava Holtzman, Knox Middle School; Morgan Box, China Grove Middle School; Paola Gomez, Erwin Middle School.

Second place — Xochltl Nunez-Ariza, North Rowan Middle School; Sawyer Russell, Erwin Middle School.

Third place — Katie Barnes, Erwin Middle School; Rilee Rockey, North Rowan Middle School.

Honorable mention — Hanna Ellenburg, North Rowan Middle School; Roarke Burton, Knox Middle School.

This year, medical center employees were invited to participate in the monthly observance of King’s life by submitting essays addressing the topic, “The Legacy of a Man: Dr. King’s Life and Impact on American Society.” First place went to Alice Ricks, and second place was awarded to Annie L. Elliott. Elliott read her essay Monday night, and Ricks will read her essay on Friday.

For more information, please contact Chaplain Ethel Bamberg-Revis, 2013 chair, MLK Jr. Birthday Committee, at 704-638-9000, ext. 2137, and please visit our website

Notice about comments: is pleased to offer readers the ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website. Full terms and conditions can be read here.

Do not post the following:

  • Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
  • Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
  • Personal attacks, insults or threats.
  • The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
  • Comments unrelated to the story.