Festivities around San Diego celebrate King legacy


Hundreds of San Diegans attended a pair of community breakfasts Monday to lead off festivities on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The United African American Ministerial Action Council held its 15th annual breakfast at the Joe and Vi Jacobs Center.

The 22nd annual “All People’s Breakfast” took place at downtown’s Golden Hall, featuring a gospel choir, dance performances, art displays and speakers.

“He (King) united the country,’’ 17-year-old Michael Gauldin told 10News. The once-homeless teenager was awarded a scholarship at the Golden Hall event and hopes to attend college next year.

Taft Middle School student Layla Odum gave thanks to the slain civil rights leader as she read her winning entry in an essay contest.

“Being in an interracial family, I don’t know if I’d even be here without Dr. Martin Luther King,” Odum said.

Many organizations honored King’s legacy with a day of service.

The San Diego Blood Bank held a blood and bone marrow drive to raise awareness of the need to increase the donor registry among African-Americans.

Officials want to find a matching donor for a 41-year-old mother of two from Brooklyn who was recently diagnosed with leukemia. The event runs through 3:30 p.m. at the San Diego Hall of Champions in Balboa Park.

More than 175 employees of Kaiser Permanente went to the San Diego Food Bank to sort and package groceries for the needy, while volunteers with the American Red Cross and HOPE Worldwide distributed fire safety information to area residents.

The San Diego Labor Council held a cleanup day in Linda Vista. City, county and federal offices are closed, including recreation centers and libraries. Most parks are open, however. Parking meters will only be enforced in Del Mar.

Trash service will be delayed one day in San Diego but will run on a normal schedule in other cities.

Transit systems will operate according to their normal weekday schedules.