The Germantown Community Center is expecting hundreds at its 17th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast, to take place Monday morning.
Organizers expect this to be one of the bigger celebrations the community center has hosted in the last three years, and among the largest of the center's MLK celebrations.
According to Germantown Director Kathy Quigley, the breakfast has come to mean a great deal to the community.
“It’s just to celebrate Dr. King’s message and really bring the residents together, because it’s such a diverse city,” she said. “And everyone embraces it.”
Quigley said that Quincy residents come out in droves, and more than 400 are expected to attend this year.
Younger attendees who have since grown up and left the community center’s day-to-day life come back for the celebration, and reminisce about attending since they were just starting to walk.
“I have all the teens come and help, they volunteer. They help set up help the day of. It’s really just many, many people coming together to celebrate Dr. King’s legacy, what he’s left us,” Quigey said.
Though tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for seniors and children, the event is not a fund-raiser. Proceeds help pay for the food.
And though there is a fee, no one is turned away at the door, Quigley said.
“The mayor gave $500 towards the breakfast, and that helps defray the cost of the caterer. That $500 really helps out. We don’t want to turn anyone away who can’t afford it,’ Quigley said.
Some politicians buy an entire table and bring only a few people to participate, giving out other seats to those who can’t afford it.
Local businesses also come together to help provide linens, coffee, juice, and centerpieces.
“We come together, we sit and meet, put teams together of who will take care of what, and it gets done,” Quigley said. ”From decorating the hall to making sure everything represents Dr. King…you walk in and feel like you’re in a Dr. King breakfast....”
"When you hear from the kids, what Dr. King stood for and what he did for them, and you can hear that echoed in their voices when you talk to the teens,“ Quigley said.
Students and the Eastern Nazarene Choir will provide music, and speakers the keynote speaker will be David Morales, senior vice president of public policy and strategic solutions at Steward Health Care System.
Morales previously was commissioner of the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, and deputy chief of staff and senior adviser to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.
Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch, District Attorney Michael Morrissey, and Vice President of the South Shore YMCA, John Ireland, will also speak at the event.
The breakfast will take place at the Germantown Neighborhood Center from 9 to 11 a.m. on Jan. 21. For information or reservations, call the center at 617-376-1384.