Each year the YMCA brings together people of all ages and backgrounds for a prayer breakfast celebrating the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. This year Dr. Benjamin Carson, Johns Hopkins internationally acclaimed neurosurgeon, spoke to a sold-out crowd of nearly a thousand community and business leaders.
Dr. Carson is known for being the first to have successfully separated conjoined twins and for his medical techniques that have pioneered advancements in neurosurgery. Currently the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, Dr. Carson is also Professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
The Prayer Breakfast is an annual community event that celebrates the lives and legacies of Dr. King and Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy, Orlando’s first African-American elected official. At the breakfast, we also salute excellence in the community with the Lifetime Achievement Award, which is given to someone in the African-American community who, like Dr. King and Pappy Kennedy, has gone above and beyond and made a positive impact on the community. Howard Tate “Flute” Gentry is the 2011 recipient for over 30 years of work with Orlando’s youth through the Young Blacks in Action, a group he organized. An avid marching and band participant himself, he sought to provide youth in predominantly African American communities with constructive afterschool activities. He has used precision marching drills to instill strong work ethics in our community’s youth and teach the value of hard work.
And scholarships are given to high school seniors who exemplify dedication to their community and education. This year, three scholarships were presented to Sha’va Newsome of Jones High School, Valentina Fevrier of Boone High School and Jessica Allen of Olympia High School.
At the Y, strengthening community is our cause. This Prayer Breakfast is just one of the many community events and prayer breakfasts that the YMCA of Central Florida hosts throughout the year. The YMCA partners with community organizations to further our mission, bridge the gaps in community needs and increase the number of lives we impact each year.
The event was held on January 17, 2011 at First Baptist Church of Orlando.