Organizers of the upcoming 19th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast hope this year’s event could draw more than 1,200 attendees.
The breakfast is set for 8 a.m. Monday in the Crown Ballroom of the Charlotte Convention Center, 501 S. College St. in uptown. Tickets cost $45. About 1,050 people were already signed up to attend earlier this week, said Michael DeVaul, YMCA of Greater Charlotte senior vice president.
The event has traditionally been a fundraiser for the McCrorey Family YMCA, and the organization also honors recipients of the Martin Luther King Jr. Spirit Award.
But this year, it has been expanded to incorporate annual King Day events and honors sponsored by the city of Charlotte and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.
In addition to the Spirit Award, the city will recognize WBTV’s Steve Crump with its annual Martin Luther King Jr. Medallion Award, and name four others to its Keeper of the Dream Honor Roll. The school system will honor scholarship winners from its annual King art and essay contest at the breakfast.
Chef and author Jeff Henderson will be the keynote speaker.
The prayer breakfast comes on the same day as President Barack Obama’s inauguration in Washington, and organizations plan to make note of the event.
Tickets can still be bought for the breakfast at EZ-Tixx.com. Anyone interested in a corporate sponsorship can call Karen Gipson at 704-716-6506.
“This prayer breakfast has become a tradition for Charlotteans from every race, belief, age and income level,” Gipson, executive director of the McCrorey YMCA, said in a recent news release. “We are excited to invite even more neighbors to this year’s celebration.”