Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

MLK celebrations include gala, march

Orange County will be celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King this week with an annual gala Saturday night at the Expo Center and a traditional march in downtown Orange on Monday.

The Orange NAACP is once again sponsoring the march, as it did the first one here on January 20, 1986, when the day became a national holiday. This year, the march, which is open to the community, will begin at 10 a.m. at Salem United Methodist Church, 402 West John Avenue.

The marchers will begin forming at 9:30 a.m. and no vehicles will be allowed. Participants should wear comfortable shoes and their singing voices. The march will go to Green Avenue, then to Fifth Street and end at the Riverfront Pavilion on Division Avenue, where a program will be presented.

The annual MLK Gala is sponsored by Blossoming Minds and Impact Orange as a formal event to honor local citizens who embody the legacy of the civil rights leader. As of Tuesday, the dinner and social event was nearly sold out.

Doors at the Expo Center on FM 1442 will open at 5:30 p.m. with a mixer beginning at 5:55 p.m. Local vendors will be displaying and selling their wares. Claydra Rhodes and Miguel Gobert will serve as co-hosts of the evening with Pastor Vestor Thompson as speaker.

A number of people will be receiving special honors, including Russell Bottley as Integrity Honoree. He is a coach at West Orange-Stark High and a former Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year. He has also been instrumental in helping at local Bassmasters tournaments.

Retired educator Evera Canady Enard, will be the Legacy Honoree. She worked in the West Orange-Cove school district before retiring in 1991. She was named Outstanding Teacher of the Year in 1967 and in retirement has helped tutor students. She is a native of Cameron, Texas, and earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from Prairie View A&M. Her memberships include Top Ladies of Distinction, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Phi Delta Kappa, plus lifetime memberships in the Texas State Teachers Association and the National Education Association.

Other honorees will include realto Kristille Orebo-Charlot as Trailblazer, Johnny Asevedo as Bridge Honoree, Sharon Brown as King Impact Honoree. A number of local citizens have been nominated for other honors like Man of the Year and Business of the Year.


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