January 13 – The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration, Pledge to Service and Recognition Ceremony, is an annual event where Mayor Byron W. Brown and the City’s Division of Citizens Services recognizes groups and individuals for their contributions to the community through service.
“Dr. King once said ‘An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity,’ Mayor Brown said. “ As we remember this civil rights icon, let’s honor his legacy by peacefully respecting one another and doing more to raise our community through volunteerism and service.”
This year’s honorees are:
• National Impact Award - Bishop Anthony Bronner – ELIM Christian Fellowship • National Impact Award - Frank Mesiah – Former President, NAACP Buffalo Chapter • Commitment to Service Award - Abdalla Mohamoud - H.E.A.L. International• Commitment to Service Award - Rev. Dennis Lee – Pastor, Hopewell Baptist Church and President of Baptist Ministers Conference • Commitment to Service Award - Brandi L. Haynes – Emergency Services Director, Community Action Organization of Erie County • Commitment to Service Award - Nadia Pizzaro – Homeless Alliance of WNY• Diversity Award - Rev. Brek Cockrell – The Renovation Church • Racial Relationship Building Award - Captain Steve Nichols – Buffalo Police Department • Posthumous Award – Windford J. Lucas – Honorary Past Grand Master, The Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge and Accepted Masons State of New York
The event also serves as a call-to-action for City of Buffalo residents to become more involved and engaged in their communities through service. An example of this is The City’s Parks and Recreation Department’s first annual ‘Buffalo wRECk’s Hunger Food Donation Drive’. From December 1 through December 21, 2016, youth at 7 Buffalo City Recreation Centers collected 910 cans of non-perishable foods. The canned goods will be delivered to the Hananiah Lutheran Church at 900 Genesee Street where they will be distributed to families in need. The Recreation Centers plan to hold the event again in November 2017. The winner was the Peter Machnica Community Center, which collected 250 cans of food.
“These children set the bar for the rest of us,” Mayor Brown said. “I commend them for this effort, which will help many families, right in their own communities, provide healthy meals. It takes all of us to combat hunger, so I encourage every resident to support their local food pantry.”
To find a food pantry near you, call 311 or (716) 851-4890. Click here to learn more about Buffalo City Recreation Centers.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an advocate for collective building and sustainable change. Each year, the Division of Citizen Services invites dozens of agencies to take part in the Service Fair portion of the event. This presents an excellent opportunity for agencies to provide residents with information about the services they offer. Some of the not-for-profits agencies represented this year include: Grassroot Gardens of Western New York, United Way, Compass House, and Journey’s End.