MLK Community Foundation Celebrates 20th Anniversary; Pepe To Be Keynote Speaker

Dale Caldwell, left, and his father, the Rev. Gilbert Caldwell, were the keynote speakers at the 2016 MLK Foundation Community Foundation Breakfast. (File photo).

One of the founders of the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Community Breakfast will be the keynote speaker for its 20th anniversary.

Frank V. Pepe, a former township schools Superintendent and one of the three founders of the event, will headline the breakfast, slated to begin at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 16 at the Doubletree Hotel, 200 Atrium Dr.

The breakfast has become a popular event, with 400 to 500 people regularly attending.

In addition to bringing together people of various cultures, backgrounds and religions in one place, a purpose of the breakfast is to raise money for scholarships for Franklin High School seniors who have committed to college or professional school.

To date, more than $157,000 has been awarded to 155 students, according to a release about the event.

Former schools Superintendent Frank Pepe will be the keynote speaker for the 20th annual MLK Community Foundation breakfast. Photo: Bridges To Community Foundation.

Pepe founded the event in 1997 along with Eva Nagy, then-president of the Board of Education, and Daniel Livak, who was Chief of Police at the time.

The three wanted to “create a wonderful opportunity to bring all aspects of the Franklin Township’s very diverse community together in honoring the life and works of Dr. Martin King and fulfilling Dr. King’s dream of unity among the races,” according to the release.

The first breakfast was held in 1998 in the Franklin High School cafeteria, and attracted about 250 people, according to the release.

Since then, attendees have come from all aspects of the township, religious, education, government and police, according to the release.

Through the years, the breakfast has attracted keynote speakers from all walks of life, television personalities, Franklin alumni, state Attorneys General and the clergy, according to the release.

Tickets are available by calling (732) 328-8378, or by visiting the MLK Foundation web page.


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