Children bundled up to brave the chilly weather conditions as they held with pride the banner recognizing Glen Cove’s annual march of unity as part of the city’s 32nd tribute to the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.
Led by Sheryl Goodine, chairwoman of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Commission, the group including Mayor Reggie Spinello, School Superintendent Maria Rianna, Assistant School Superintendent Michael Israel, Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton, Judge Richard McCord, Council members Nick DiLeo Jr., Pamela Panzenbeck, Roderick Watson, parents, Glen Cove religious leaders, Glen Cove Police Chief William Whitton, Deputy Chief Chris Ortiz and other esteemed guests and community members, marched from the First Baptist Church to the Robert F. Finley Middle School.
“Harambe,” said Goodine, using the Swahili word that means “pull together” to the large crowd gathered in the Wunsch Auditorium. She encouraged everyone to work together to keep King’s legacy alive and in her role as Mistress of Ceremonies took great pride in introducing a robust program featuring the voices of students, elected and school officials, performers, religious advisors and dancers.
“When I reflect upon the theme of today’s tribute, Dr. King’s Legacy through the Eyes of Youth, I am reminded that Dr. King’s words, lessons, beliefs and wisdom are as relevant today as they were during his lifetime,” said Spinello. “His courage and dreams as a peaceful warrior promoted non-violent action to address the critical need for equal rights for all; now more than ever—in a world filled with conflict and tension—we need to stay strong and remember Dr. King’s convictions.”
Goodine and Glen Cove High School’s Master of Ceremonies Allen Hudson III, in sharing program hosting duties, introduced the participation of the city’s, school district’s and area’s most talented youth and special guests. Through their words, song and dance, the audience was inspired to think, sing out, clap their hands and stand up in honor of King.
Program participants included Glen Cove’s Color and Honor Guard, the Glen Cove High School Select Chorale, Glen Cove’s Poet Laureate Victoria Crosby, the Glen Cove High School Drumline, the Glen Cove Middle School Chorus, the ESOTA Dance Company, Cantor Gitlin of Congregation Tifereth Israel and the First Baptist Church Adult Choir. In addition, the speeches and remarks presented by GCHS students, Eshone Cofield-Jackson and Tamara Gitlin as well as from special guest Abel Legenus and the Rev. William Wendler, Father Mark Fitzpatrick, Rev. John Ceasar and Elder Clarence Johnson were inspiring to all.
Glen Cove residents interested in joining the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission as a volunteer can contact Sheryl Goodine at 516-385-4179.