Jackie Robinson YMCA Holds Annual MLK Jr. Breakfast writer01 Jan 28, 2014 Front Page By Staff Writer This year the Jackie Robinson YMCA held its 29th Annual Human Dignity Awards Breakfast at the Town and Country Convention Center in Mission Valley. With a capacity crowd of 1270 people in attendance, the event has grown from a small breakfast in the gym of the Jackie Robinson YMCA in Southeastern San Diego to an event celebrated by all of San Diego County. The event opened with a 6 a.m. registration with breakfast, and a program that started at 7 a.m. and ended at 9 a.m. in time for attendees to make it to work. While Dr. King’s actual birthday is on January 15th, celebrations in recent years have become the unofficial launch of a weekend of activities honoring the life and memory of Dr. King. The San Diego County YMCA is the anchor for this event which draws people from all walks of life in celebration of Dr. King. Each year, a Human Dignity Award is given to a selected outstanding person of service to the community. And, each year the recipient of the year before joins a long line of predecessors at the head table which is only reduced by the passing of an earlier member so honored. But prior to the award itself, there is a program that each year includes young people who have participated in poetry and essay writings honoring Dr. King. These students are presented with awards from various sponsors like Wells Fargo, which as a title sponsor this year gave gift certificates to the students. This year, as in years past, the famed Buffalo Soldiers presented the Colors at the beginning of the event and the Marching Drum Line from the Jackie Robinson YMCA provided an exciting wake up for anyone who needed more than a cup of coffee. The San Diego Community Choir performed two outstanding songs in a capella which provided a strong sense of church as Dee Sanford, the MC for this event along with Tayari Howard, both Board Members of the Jackie Robinson YMCA. The Keynote Speaker was San Diego Unified School Superintendent Cindy Martin, but no remarks could top the comment and wisdom of Mrs. Jules Hooper, age 92 and this years recipient of the Human Dignity Award for her tireless service to the community. She spoke not only of the need to vote, but the need to also “educate” a whole generation to the importance of voting and civic participation. At the end of this event, plans were already underway for next year’s breakfast and excitement for the work that the “Y” continues in the lives of the entire community.