Native son, Richard T. Reed Jr. to deliver MLK memorial address
In honor of slain civil rights leader, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Franklin County Chapter of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Foundation will host its annual King Memorial at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday at Winchester First Missionary Baptist Church.
The church is located at 317 3rd Ave. S.E.
Patsy Baker, Foundation chairperson, summed up the event’s significance.
“This holiday is meaningful to our country, and just a small tribute to such a great man,” she said. “We are hopeful that the entire community will come out and help us celebrate our nation’s past, present, and future.
“This is also the time of year that the Foundation presents the 2014 senior class to the community. Scholarship applications will be distributed and each senior is encouraged to complete the application and submit it for award consideration.
“Scholarships are awarded in May at the annual awards banquet. Through the continued financial support of the Franklin County community, the Foundation has awarded more than $60,000 to minority students who are making significant contributions as professionals locally and across the nation.”
Delivering the commemorative address will be Franklin County’s native son, Richard T. Reed Jr., an educator in the Rutherford County School System.
Reed, who grew up and still worships at his hometown church in Winchester, is a living testament of Dr. King’s dream.
He is a 1996 graduate of Franklin County High School and a 2000 graduate of Middle Tennessee State University. He began his career as an educator in Rutherford County and has been teaching for 12 years.
Reed is involved with his students in the classroom as well as in the community where he coaches basketball.
He works with young people in Franklin County as well, where he helps to choreograph praise dances that are often performed in churches as well as other community settings.
“Having the opportunity to celebrate the King holiday at home with the people who invested so much into me is an honor,” Reed said. “I love taking advantage of every opportunity to give back to my community.
“The King holiday is an opportunity for each of us to reflect on the life of Dr. King. This feat is such a small jester compared to what Dr. King gave, but I feel blessed to give what I can. I feel we all must do our part to help make our communities stronger — spiritually, economically, and educationally, by investing in our youth. We must teach our youth to have strength, integrity, wisdom, and vision. These are the qualities that Dr. King felt people must have in order to live successful, productive lives.”
The mission of the King Foundation is to promote academic excellence, service, and philanthropy. Since its inception in 1988, the Foundation has awarded more than $60,000 to 55 students. Fourteen of the recipients hold master’s degrees, 26 recipients have earned bachelor’s degrees, and six have associate degrees. Eleven students continue their studies at colleges and universities in Tennessee.
For more information on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship Foundation programs and events, direct inquiries to board members Willie Hill, Debra Vanzant, Yulanda Tate, Brenda Walker, Doug Smith, Theresa Romelain, Charoline Simmons, Ann Greer or Baker.