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Nonprofit organization invites community to MLK banquet


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IDAHO FALLS — A nonprofit organization is inviting the community to come together to honor and recognize the legacy and importance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream and the impact he made on the United States.

The Idaho Falls African American Alliance (IFAAA), is hosting a banquet in January that will feature unique speakers during the week of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.

MLK event poster
MLK event details for Jan. 21. | Courtesy: David Snell

“Each year, we try and get someone that is doing great things in their community and making strides for our country. We just want to highlight those African American pioneers and we bring them to this community event,” said David Snell, president and founder of the Idaho Falls African American Alliance.

The Let Peace and Unity “Take Flight” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 15th Annual Banquet event will be held at Melaleuca on Jan. 21 and will feature keynote speaker Major Daniel “Fuzz” Walker who is an F-22 Raptor Mission Commander from the United States Air Force. Special virtual guest, Mrs. Michelle Amos will additionally be speaking and was a systems engineer for NASA. She won an All-Star Award at NASA’s Women of Color Government and Defense Technology Awards Conference.

Snell is encouraging and inviting everyone to come out to the event. He told last time the event was held at Melaleuca, there were over 400 people and it continues to grow each year.

“This event has become and has grown into one of the largest King celebrations in Idaho,” Snell said. “The biggest thing about the event really is that it’s growing in perceptions and attitudes. Our community, they love it. They enjoy coming out. We get to interact, we get to see local entertainment, we have good music, good food.”

The event is taking place on Friday, Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. The event address is located at 4609 West 65th South in Idaho Falls.

“I want people to know that it’s not a big group of African Americans that are making this (event) happen. My committee is so many different nationalities,” said Snell.

The banquet will serve salads, grilled lemon chicken, beef striploin, garlic mashed potatoes, steamed vegetables, and dessert.

Tickets are $35 for adults, $25 for students, and $10 for kids 12 and under.

Click here to go to the Idaho Falls African American Alliance website for more information on how to purchase tickets.

“Just come out and help make our community a better place. My mom told me always that, you really get to know someone when you sit down and have dinner with them. Come sit down and have dinner with them! Get to know somebody not like you,” Snell said.

Snell told a portion of the money raised from the event will go to Champ’s Heart, a local organization that offers horse encounters for children who are facing cancer, disabilities or other challenges. Snell explained each year, they pick a nonprofit to support. The rest of the money will be used for scholarships for local high school students who plan on going to college.

According to a press release sent from the IFAAA, the nonprofit is, “committed to initiating dialogue and providing resources that contribute to the educational and cultural growth and development of our community and to improve understanding among all races. Our group has promoted and supported the educational and academic excellence of African American youth by awarding scholarships to graduating high school students. We also provide assistance through tutoring programs, after-school activities, mentoring in the areas of career growth and development.”

MLK event