MLK Day Observances Are Planned In RPB, Wellington

The life and legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be honored at events in Wellington and Royal Palm Beach on Monday, Jan. 15, which is the national holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader.

CAFCI and the Village of Royal Palm Beach will host the 22nd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Observance on Monday, Jan. 15 at the Royal Palm Beach Cultural Center, located at 151 Civic Center Way.

The free event is open to the entire community and will begin with a continental breakfast from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. The day’s program will begin at 10 a.m. and feature the theme “Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve,” which is a famous quote by Dr. King.

“Dr. King was a worker,” Event Organizer Hildreth Stoddard-Brown said. “He did everything in his power to make sure that everyone had civil rights. He believed in service, and that everybody can serve, and everybody can be great.”

The keynote speaker at this year’s event in Royal Palm Beach will be Judge Cymonie S. Rowe, a circuit court judge from the 15th judicial circuit in Palm Beach County.

“We always select people who can relate to what the topic is, and we believe that she will bring impact to this event,” said Stoddard-Brown, who added that Rowe will speak on the theme and help the community celebrate Dr. King.

The event will also feature musical and cultural performances, such as a steel band player, praise dance groups and performances by several Royal Palm Beach students. Local singer Samara Lewis will also perform at the gathering.

This free event is sponsored by Caribbean-Americans for Community Involvement (CAFCI) and the Village of Royal Palm Beach with support from the Palm Beach County Cultural Council, Palm Beach County and CAFCI members.

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While the event in Royal Palm Beach is a longstanding observance, the Village of Wellington will hold its first Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Remembrance Event this year.

Wellington’s event begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Wellington Community Center, located at 12150 W. Forest Hill Blvd. on Monday, Jan. 15. While free to attend, registration is required, and spaces are limited. Register in advance through at

The morning will begin with a light breakfast, followed by a welcome message and comments from the Wellington Village Council, student presentations and a special guest speaker, U.S. Navy Capt. Winston E. Scott, an aviator and astronaut.

Scott entered Naval Aviation Officers Candidate School in 1973. He completed flight training and was designated a naval aviator in 1974. In 1980, Scott earned his master’s degree in aeronautical engineering with avionics.

Capt. Winston E. Scott

During his Navy career, Scott served as a helicopter pilot and a fighter pilot. Additionally, Scott served as a research development test and evaluation (RDTE) pilot and deputy director of the Tactical Aircraft Systems Department at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division. As an RDTE pilot, Scott flew the F-14 Tomcat, the F/A-18 Hornet and the A-7 Corsair aircraft.

Scott was selected to become an astronaut by NASA in 1992. Serving as a mission specialist, he flew two space shuttle missions, during which he logged more than 24 days in space, including three spacewalks totaling more than 19 hours.

He has advised elected officials on matters related to space and aeronautics.

Recently retired, Scott is a professor emeritus at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne. His book, Reflections from Earth Orbit, was published in 2005.

For questions, or additional information on the Wellington event, contact Ian Williams at or (561) 868-8624.