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Alcombright to be Honored at MLK Day of Service
11:19AM / Friday, January 05, 2018
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Richard Alcombright, seen here helping with his last food collection as mayor, will receive the Peacemaker Award at the annual MLK Day celebration on Jan. 15.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Martin Luther King Day Committee will hold the annual “Day of Service” on Monday, Jan. 15, this year honoring former North Adams Mayor Richard Alcombright with the annual Peacemaker Award.

The celebration begins at 8:30 a.m. at MCLA’s Venable Gym with coffee and pastries; there will be signs along Church Street for parking. Participants will choose from more than 10 sites to provide service to the community, including Louison House, YMCA, weatherization for homes, food collection sites, and projects onsite at the MCLA Venable Gym. There will be projects suitable for all ages and abilities.

Participants will return to the MCLA Venable Gym at 12:30 p.m. to share a free luncheon and community celebration, enjoy local entertainment and hear uplifting words in the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. 

The annual Peacemaker Award will be presented during the lunchtime celebration. Alcombright will be honored for his dedication to people and programs, not just in North Adams, but in Northern Berkshire and beyond and for showing true compassion and following the life, principles, and ideals of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.    

This "A Day On, Not a Day Off" event is free and everyone in the community is encouraged to volunteer and celebrate the Northern Berkshire community. Volunteers can register in advance online to ensure their preference for service project. Groups who want to volunteer together should register and sign up with their choice of service project with the name of the group and names of all group members.

This event is made possible through a grant from the Massachusetts Service Alliance.

In addition, the MLK Jr. Committee invites all North Berkshire residents to join a Martin Luther King Weekend Psalms and Spirituals performance and community sing-along at Trinity Church in Lenox on Sunday, January 14, at 3 p.m. presented by The Cantilena Chamber Choir. Dr. King will be remembered in poems and speeches, but the focus of the program will be a spiritual sing-along with the choirs. Admission is free of charge but there is a suggested donation of $15. Trinity Church is located at 88 Walker St. in Lenox.

For more information on the MLK Day of Service and Celebration in Northern Berkshire or the MLK committee in Northern Berkshire, contact Kathy Keeser by email or at 413-664-4006 or Liz Boland at the Northern Berkshire Community Coalition at 413-663-7588.

Other MLK Day events include:

* Berkshire Community College will host its annual Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service event in the Connector building at BCC's main campus. The event event begins at 8 a.m. with registrations and a light breakfast. At 9 a.m., Dr. Francis Jones-Sneed, a professor of history, political science & public policy at MCLA, will give a keynote address about the history of Martin Luther King Jr. and his call for more community service. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. attendees will go out into the community to volunteer to serve at Habitat for Humanity, Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center, or Harvest Table in the Berkshires. People are asked to please register in advance to 413-236-1611.

* The town of Great Barrington, birthplace of W.E.B. Du Bois, begins the Du Bois 150th Festival during the Martin Luther King holiday week of Jan. 15. The festival kicks off on Monday, Jan. 15, with the Martin Luther King Day Interfaith Service from noon to 1 p.m. at the First Congregational Church on Main Street.

* Williams College will celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with events beginning Sunday, Jan. 14, through Friday, Jan. 19. For the opening event on Sunday, Jan. 14, Joseph Wilson '19 and Black Campus Ministry will have a praise session and reflection at 1 p.m. in Thompson Memorial Chapel. On Monday, Jan. 15, Williams students will partner with MCLA students and members of the Berkshire community to participate in a variety of service projects from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. From noon to 5 p.m. Paresky's Baxter Hall, students of Steven Miller, associate professor of mathematics, will build a LEGO bridge. Families are especially welcome. At 7 p.m. in Paresky Auditorium, Williams scholars and professors reflect on today's current movements and their relationship to the Civil Rights Movement. Wednesday, Jan. 17, in Driscoll Lounge, there will be a session "Informed and Involved: Organizing Workshop Featuring Local Advocates and Activists," from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. A screening of the film Dolores will be shown Thursday, Jan. 18, in Paresky Auditorium at 7:45 p.m. Dolores Huerta co-founded the first farm workers unions with Cesar Chavez, yet her enormous contributions have gone largely unrecognized. The film is directed by Peter Bratt. On Friday, Jan. 19, there will be an Islamic prayer service in Thompson Memorial Chapel Basement at 1 p.m. The closing event will be student vocal performances from 6-6:30 p.m. during the all-night "Marathon of Voices," where musicians from the Williams community perform from sunset to sunrise.

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