This year marks the 30th year that Missoula has had a community celebration of Martin Luther King Day. Like this event tonight, a committee of volunteers, Missoula citizens just like you, plans and carries out events with speakers, music, and the beautiful art and essays submitted by area public schools students. The large number of people who come to this event sends an important message to others in Montana and beyond that our community believes in the importance of equal justice, human rights, and other principles that comprise the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The committee is grateful for many local and area businesses that contribute to this annual event—a list of sponsors can be found on your program—and grateful for the volunteers who help with all the logistics. We do, however, need to raise some funds for the things we do that cost actual money like printing programs and honorariums for our speakers.
So if you can be this year, the MLK Day planning committee asks you to be extra generous with your contribution this year. Of course, any contribution you can make to help make this event possible is deeply appreciated and volunteers are “passing the hat” now. But the most important gift you’ve given is your attendance tonight, so whether you can contribute or not, thank you so much for helping Missoula commemorate this important holiday.