Dr. Vikki Kennedy Johnson Headline YMCA 25th Annual Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy Prayer Breakfast

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Over 1000 guests were inspired by Dr. Vikki Kennedy Johnson who gave the keynote address at the YMCA 25th Annual “Pappy” Kennedy Prayer Breakfast honoring the life and legacy of slain civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The prayer breakfast was held at the First Baptist Church of Orlando, Monday, January 18, 2016, 7:45 a.m.

Keynote Guest Speaker, Dr. Vikki Kennedy Johnson

Vikki MLK

Dr. Vikki Kennedy Johnson, acclaimed pastor, author and broadcaster, served as keynote speaker for the anniversary event. She is the granddaughter of Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy, Orlando’s first black elected official. Photo by J Willie David III / Florida National News

“Like Dr. King, my grandfather had a dream that everyone would get along and be decent to one another if only given a chance,” said Dr. Kennedy Johnson. “There’s power in a dream, but the challenge for us today is to embody the dream, persevere and make a difference.

Welcome Remarks, Dan Wilcox, YMCA of Central Florida

“It is upon each of us to continue pushing for positive change,” stated Dan Wilcox, Dan Wilcox, YMCA of Central Florida President/CEO. “Today, and every day, our organization is working to improve the lives of all people. “We hope you’ll join with us through the Y’s cause and mission to be a force for positive change.”

Presenting Sponsor, Derek Lewis of PepsiCo, Inc.

Derek Lewis

Derek Lewis, Senior Vice President/General Manager, PepsiCo, Inc., is an event speaker and presenting sponsor of the YMCA 25th Annual Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy Prayer Breakfast, held Monday, January 18, 2016. Photo by J Willie David, III / Florida National News

 The event’s other speakers included Dan Wilcox, President & CEO, YMCA of Central Florida, former Orange County Commissioner Homer Hartage, Orlando City Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, Derek Lewis, Senior Vice President, PepsiCo, Inc., Mike Manuel, Chairman, YMCA Metropolitan Board of Directors, Marcus Riggins, President, Southwest Orlando Jaycees, Tim Weisheyer, Osceola County School Board Chairman, and Marcia Hope Goodwin, Director of the City of Orlando’s Office of Community Affairs and Human Relations.

Musical Entertainment, La Rue Howard

YMCA musical entertainment provided La Rue Howard who was join on stage by Fox TV "The X Factor" Season 3 Music Diva Lillie Nicole McCloud, and Miss America 2004 Ericka Dunlap who sang the Star Spangled Banner earlier. Photo by J Willie David III / Florida National News

Musical entertainment was provided by La Rue Howard (l) who was join on stage by Fox TV “The X Factor” Music Diva Lillie Nicole McCloud, (c) and Miss America 2004 Ericka Dunlap (r) who sang the Star Spangled Banner earlier. Photo by Willie David/Florida National News

Orlando’s music star La Rue Howard of the River of Life Christian Church, along with the  Experience Center Praise Choir provided  the morning’s musical entertainment.

Four Scholarships Awarded

The annual event provided four scholarships to local high school seniors. The recipients included Vivek Suri of Winter Park High School; Ajalie Coryat of Lake Nona High School; Mitchina Dorson of Maynard Evans High school; and Neil Rios LaVerde of Colonial High School.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Tiffany Moore Russell, Orange County Clerk of Courts, received the Southwest Jaycees’ Lifetime Achievement Award for dedicated public service.

Elected Officials Attended

Lillie, Dyer, Daisy

Fox TV “The X Factor” Season 3 Music Diva Lillie Nicole McCloud poses  for a photo with The Honorable Buddy Dyer, Mayor of Orlando and The Honorable Daisy Morales, District Supervisor, Orange County Soil & Water Conservation Board, Seat 2 at the YMCA 25th Annual Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy Prayer Breakfast, Monday, January 18, 2016. Photo by J Willie David, III / Florida National News

Among the 1000 plus YMCA guests were several elected officials attending the annual prayer breakfast noticed by the Florida National News included US Congressman Daniel Webster, Florida State Senator Geraldine Thompson, Orange County Commissioner Pete Clarke, Orange County Commissioner Victoria Siplin, Orange County Soil & Water Conservation Board Supervisor Daisy Morales, Orange County Property Appraiser Rick Singh, Orange and Osceola County State Attorney Jeff Ashton, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill, and Orlando City Commissioner Samuel B. Ings.


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