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Honoring King’s legacy, two lauded at downtown event


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Unveiling of the awards at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Gardens in downtown Gainesville.

It’s been 50 years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., and told the American people of his dream.

And 50 years later, King’s legacy lives on.

On what would have been King’s 84th birthday, people around the nation are celebrating his life, as well as the second inauguration of President Barack Obama.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Commission of Florida hosted a variety of events today to mark the occasion at the memorial gardens bearing his name in downtown Gainesville.

Rodney Long, president and founder of the commission, says that much like the people marching in Washington, D.C. those 50 years ago, people today are living in a moment of history.

Louis Kalivoda and Jenna Stafford after receiving their awards from the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission of Florida.

The commission also took time to recognize several members of the community who has demonstrated and adopted the principles of King.

Louis Kalivoda is this year’s Induction Hall of Fame Award Recipient. Kalivoda is the program director of criminal justice, emergency medical services, fire science and aviation at the Institute of Public Safety at Santa Fe College.

Jenna Stafford, a senior from Eastside High School, was also recognized at the ceremony as the recipient of the 23rd annual Keeper of the Dream award and scholarship. She was chosen for her extensive involvment in the community and academic achievements.

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