Preparations for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service are well underway, with a full schedule of events planned.
This year's event will be held on Saturday, and will begin with a peace walk at 9 a.m. at Campbell Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The walk will end at the Lycoming College Recreation Center, where volunteers will assemble 40,000 meal packs of either macaroni and cheese or rice and beans for the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.
Registration for volunteers will be held in the lobby of the Recreation Center until 9:45 a.m., when the program officially will begin with a welcome from Dr. Philip Sprunger, provost and dean of Lycoming College, and Dr. Paul Starkey, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Pennsylvania College of Technology.
Attendees then will hear from Judge Marc Lovecchio, the After School Counts Singers and keynote speaker Rev. Adam Kittrell, former National Director for Campus Ministry for the American Baptist Churches and a central Pennsylvania native.
The service project is scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m. and end at about 12:30 p.m. Upon completion of the project, the food bank will pick up the meals for distribution to soup kitchens and food pantries in Clinton and Lycoming counties.
Closing speeches will be given by Jamie Caputo, director of the Williamsport branch of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank, and Rev. Jeffery LeCrone, Lycoming College campus minister.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: Martin Luther King Jr. Day Peace Walk
WHEN: 9 a.m. Saturday
WHERE: Begins at corner of Campbell Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard
WHAT: Martin Luther King Jr. Day service project
WHEN: 10:30 a.m. Saturday
WHERE: Lycoming College Recreation Center
Beverages and light refreshments will be available, and a children's activity table will feature crafts and face-painting.
The community service project, a program of the Corp. for National and Community Service, is an annual event that encourages service to others in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"It's a signature service day for AmeriCorps all across the nation," said Daryl Kern, director of STEP Community Connect AmeriCorps.
AmeriCorps members will be team leaders and will train the volunteers in assembling the food packs, she said.
Attendees can also bring nonperishable food items or money for donations, said Kern, adding that she is "thrilled in any way people want to participate."
Fundraising for the event has been well on track, said LeCrone, with a "significant contribution" made by St. Mark's Lutheran Church and other private donors, although an Indiegogo.com account maintained by the college is still open for donations. To donate, visit igg.me/at/mlkservice.