Wheeling Jesuit University

Tony Lee and Unity to Perform at Annual Martin Luther King Celebration Gospel Festival at WJU's Troy Theater at 6:30 pm Jan. 16

Cleveland gospel group Tony Lee and Unity takes center stage Monday, Jan. 16 during the annual Wheeling Area Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Celebration.

The two-day celebration (Jan. 15 & 16) offers something for everyone. Hosted again this year by Wheeling Jesuit University and West Virginia Northern Community College, the event is organized by a committee of community leaders, church officials and local citizens.

The final event of the two-day celebration, the inspiring gospel festival gets started at 6:30 p.m. in Wheeling Jesuit University's Troy Theater, located in Swint Hall and the public is encouraged to attend. There is no fee, however a good will offering is collected and to a scholarship fund in honor of Dr. Regina Borum, former Wheeling Jesuit University dean and Martin Luther King Day Celebration committee member who passed away in 2000.

In addition to Tony Lee and Unity, local choirs and musical performers will take the stage to honor Martin Luther King and is message of civil rights. Tony Lee and Unity is a group of young people based in Cleveland, Ohio and founded in 1994. The group's main goal is to praise God through song and to give each generation a more spiritual perspective of gospel music.

Audiences are left spellbound by this choir and it's refreshing style. Many of the songs they perform will be original music. Not just a choir, they use their ministry as an outreach vehicle to visit places like the Juvenile Detention Center in Cleveland, once a month and also the Ohio Boys Town.

Evangelist Marcie Allen will serve as the mistress of ceremonies for the evening. During the Gospel Festival, two area women will be honored with the new Rosa Parks Award. This new award is being presented to honor Civil Rights leader, Rosa Parks, who passed away Oct. 24, 2005.

The community celebration begins on Sunday, Jan. 15., with the Interfaith March for Peace and Justice at 1 p.m. The March will begin on the east end of National Road at Wheeling Park and in the west at Temple Shalom, ending on the campus of Wheeling Jesuit in the Chapel of Mary and Joseph where a brief program is scheduled to celebrate the conclusion of the walk.

A luncheon in Wheeling Jesuit's dining hall then follows. The cost of the luncheon is $3 per person.

At 5 p.m., a Sunday Service, sponsored by the Black Clergy Alliance, will be held at Macedonia Baptist Church, 105-12th St., Wheeling. The service features speaker Rev. Corey King, King is formerly of Wheeling, now lives in North Carolina and works at East Carolina University.

Monday, Jan. 16, marks the daylong celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The day begins at 9 a.m. with a breakfast and activities for area children, hosted by WVNCC and held in the Hazel-Atlas Building. The event is open to all children in the Ohio Valley. Immediately afterwards, children are invited to march to Laughlin Chapel on 18th Street for more activities.

Dramatic presentations, featuring local youth organizations, will take center stage at 3 p.m. Monday in Wheeling Jesuit's Troy Theater. Winning students whose essays on Martin Luther King were selected for prizes will read their essays during the 3 - 5 pm segment of the Monday program. Other performances will be by local youth groups and choirs.

Monday dinner may be purchased at Wheeling Jesuit University's Benedum Room for a reduced price of $6.50.

For more information, please call MLK '06 committee member Maureen Zambito at 304-243-2041.

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