Monday, Jan. 18 will be the birthday for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King’s message of putting aside our differences and working together, and of peacefully pushing for positive change, has never been more important than it is today.
Carlsbad has a wonderful organization called the MLK Jr. Scholarship Committee. For decades, the Committee has celebrated Dr. King’s birthday with three days of activities. They’ve had a fundraiser steak banquet on Saturday evening, a church service on Sunday, and a march on Monday, followed by a short ceremony at Carlsbad’s MLK Park. Last year, local attorney Nate Banks talked about his father’s participation in Dr. King’s marches at Saturday’s dinner. Sunday’s church services always draw singers from around town, who practice together for the weeks leading up to the event. The march, which begins on the courthouse lawn, has always one of the best events of the weekend. Last year, we enjoyed getting to listen to Dr. Joy James-Foster speak about the importance of education. Retired teacher Bob Scholl led the march, but refused to sit in a vehicle. He walked, as he always did. Gary Giddens is the president of the organization, and a group of wonderful people, including Captain James Williams and Julia Williams, as well as Bernita Smith Payne, make up the board.
We’ve been in contact with the MLK Scholarship Committee, and they are still considering their options in terms of holding some substitute activities this year, but they won’t conducting the traditional full three-day event. We will be sure to keep you informed of more information as it becomes available.
In the meantime, we hope you will join us this week in helping to keep Dr. King’s Dream alive. Say a prayer for peace, for putting aside all differences, and for freedom to ring across America. One of the best things about Carlsbad has always been how well we can work together to support this community. Listen to Dr. King’s inspirational “I Have a Dream” speech online with your children, if possible.
As the name implies, the MLK Jr. Scholarship Committee also assists several students every year with college expenses by providing scholarships. You can help the organization this year by making a donation to the organization itself, or through the Carlsbad Community Foundation. Please visit www.carlsbadfoundation.org and consider donating in support of the scholarship fund.
There’s another opportunity for local businesses to get more information on Paycheck Protection Program loan applications, as the process reopens this week. The New Mexico Economic Development Department is hosting a webinar about PPP loans at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 15. You can register here: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/879261169293117968. All businesses who still need PPP assistance are encouraged to apply for funding through the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The City of Carlsbad recently received a very generous donation of $5,000 from TDS to assist with beautification efforts here. We plan to use this donation to make improvements to the upper beach area of the Lake Carlsbad Recreational Area. Carlsbad has some of the most beautiful parks and recreational areas anywhere, and this donation will help us continue to make improvements. Thanks again to TDS.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway