9th annual Toppenish Martin Luther King Jr. Peace March
TOPPENISH – Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, Toppenish School District, and Toppenish Community Safety Network will host the 9th annual MLK Peace March in Toppenish, celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of unity and community involvement. The Toppenish MLK Peace March gathering is set for Monday, Jan. 21, at 10 a.m.
Entertainment includes performances by Toppenish School District students.
Welcome/Kickoff: 10 a.m. at the O’Reilly & Dollar Tree parking lot (300 West 1st Ave, Toppenish)
March to Toppenish Middle School: 10:30 a.m.
Speakers and Performances: 11:15 a.m. (at Toppenish Middle School, 104 Goldendale Ave.)
“Our first year, it was our goal to bring a positive event to our valley since we did not have one. Yakima always had their big MLK event annually and I wanted to bring that to Toppenish,” Rosa Ortiz, Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic Outreach Coordinator said.
Once the plan was set, Ortiz approached Toppenish School District Superintendent John Cerna, asking to use the middle school cafeteria for the presentation.
About 80 participants attended the first event, Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic CEO Carlos Olivares was the key note speaker and the Toppenish High School high school drumming class performed. Toppenish area youth read Martin Luther King Jr. poems.
“Before we left the building, John Cerna approached me and let me know that he liked what I did and that he would help me make it bigger and better by creating a committee and well, you know the rest,” Ortiz added.
Cerna says over the years he’s watched the community grow the annual event and he couldn’t be more proud.
“Because of Martin Luther King Jr.’s role in history, I have the opportunities that I have,” Cerna said. “Without him, I may not be able to hold the role in the school district that I do.”
The event is a collaborative effort by Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, Toppenish School District, City of Toppenish, Community Safety Network of Toppenish, Heritage University, and Starbucks. Coffee, hot chocolate, and pastries will be provided to all attendees.