Americans across the country honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by answering President Obama’s call to service by volunteering during the January 18th holiday at a variety of community service projects. Adults and youth from Fall River came together at the Bank Street Armory on the afternoon of the holiday to celebrate and to hear from keynote speaker Miss Bristol County Taylor Kinzler and from members of YOUth VOICE (Team FRESH, Peaceful Coalition, YouthBuild, TADA, PLOT, Youth Court, LEADS, and Making Proud Choices). Members of these groups had volunteered to read to children at local schools, play bingo with seniors, paint a hand mural, organize clothing and canned good drives, write cards for local soldiers and their families and volunteer at St. Vincent's Home and the Forever Paws animal shelter during the previous week. In addition, YOUth VOICE members planned a regional youth summit aimed at increasing civic engagement. For more information about the project contact Fall River Youth CHOICES co-chairs  Christian McCloskey at 508-324-2419, or Jamison Souza at 508-679-0922.


(Top row, left and center) YouthBuild students listen attentively as keynote speaker and current Miss Bristol County Taylor Kinzler of the New Bedford Youth Court discusses her platform, "Give the Gift of You - Volunteer!"  (Top row, right) Edith DaCosta of Team FRESH commences Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech. (Middle row, left and right) Youth Delegate Morgan Fieldings and Peaceful Coalition member Kingsley Alli recite  parts of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech. (Middle row, center) Jessica Wong and Michael Nhem welcome participants in the event at the Veterans' Memorial on Bank Street. (Bottom row, left) Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Timothy P. Murray describes the importance of volunteer efforts as Fall River Mayor Will Flanagan listens. (Bottom row, center) State representatives Kevin Aguiar, Steven J. D'Amico, David B. Sullivan, Senator Joan Menard, Representative Michael J. Rodrigues, Mayor Flanagan, and Lt. Governor Murray display their community service tee-shirts. (Bottom row, right) Pat and Peg McNerney applaud as their daughter, Melanie, is awarded one of the Mayor's Community Service Scholarships. The other scholarship was awarded to Youth of the Year Jasiel Correia, II.

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