Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast draws about 650 people

Freedom New Mexico: Clarence Plank Alex Prather, 6, of Clovis holds a peace sign Saturday during a musical performed by students from Art Academy at Bella Vista for the 2010 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Scholarship Breakfast at Clovis High School.

By Clarence Plank: Freedom New Mexico

The annual Martin Luther King Jr. scholarship breakfast Saturday in Clovis drew an estimated 650 people, who heard the essays of students like Jamie Smith.

Smith, 10, from Barry Elementary, earned first place in the elementary essay contest.

She said King’s life is her inspiration to become a teacher someday.

“I enjoy this because I get to learn things about Martin Luther King Jr.,” Smith said. “It is fun.”

Smith’s mom Teresa Smith said her children have been participating in the contest since 2007. He other daughter, Alexandrias Smith, 14, a Yucca Middle School student, was first place middle school essay winner.

Alexandrias said the contest is proof people still care about what King stood for.

“Even though Martin Luther King Jr. is gone people still remember him for what he did and who he was,” Smith said. “It shows that people still care and that’s why I agree because people should care.”

Awards were presented to students participating in poster, speech and essay contest.

“I thought the turnout was just great,” said Joyce Pollard, president of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission. “People enjoyed it and the children did a wonderful job. They’re the ones we need to focus more on because they are men and women of our future.”

Leo Dudley, second vice president of the King commission said no child is a loser even though they didn’t place in the contest.

“We are here to try and make sure all of the children and adults know about Martin Luther King Jr. and the difference he made in the world,” Pollard said. “They’re all winners every one of them. The ones who weren’t here will be recognized.