Sold-Out Crowd Attends MLK Unity Breakfast at VBC

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Monday morning, some 1,300 people packed the North Hall of Huntsville's Von Braun Center for the 29th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Breakfast.

At the beginning of the program, a young student read a message she had written to Dr. King.

"I can't imagine being beaten with hoses or not being allowed to go to the restaurant of my choice and sit wherever I want," Natalie Fields of Huntsville read.  "For those people who went through the civil rights movement, you are my historical heroes."

Prior to her essay, the crowd enjoyed a rendition of the National Anthem by saxophone, performed by Alex Banks, a senior at Bob Jones High School.

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and Madison Mayor Troy Trulock greeted the crowd.

The guest speaker was Reverend Keith Norman, Pastor of First Baptist Church - Broad of Memphis, Tennessee.  He spoke about the people of the U.S. working together to see Dr. King's hopes and dreams realized.

The president of the Delta Theta Lambda Education Foundation, David Points, Jr., presented the 2014 Unity Award to Harry Hobbs and Reverend Kerry Joffrion.  Joffrion is the President and CEO of Turning Point Consultants, LLC.  Hobbs is a spokesman for the Huntsville Police Department.

Proceeds from the event go to the Delta Theta Lambda Education Foundation.  The event organizer, Wilton Brown, said the foundation provides $12,000 in scholarships annually to high school seniors pursuing college degrees.  It also provides tutoring and mentoring to 8th grade boys, assisting them in making a smooth transition to high school.