Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Kejera Roberts, Lula Ballton, and Carl Ballton.
Keith Gaton, Weingart YMCA Board Chair; Amos Williams, Weingart Program Director; Wendy Gruel, LA City Controller; and LeRoy Titus, former executive director of Weingart.
By Cora Jackson-Fossett
Sentinel Religion Editor
More than 600 business, civic and community leaders came out to support the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles at its 41st Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Brotherhood Breakfast.
The event, held January 13 at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, reflected the multi-cultural vision of Dr. King through the diverse audience ranging from bankers to educators to homemakers to elected officials and community activists.
“I think this is the biggest crowd we ever had. But, I also think people have a need in our community to come together,” said Alan C. Hostrup, YMCA president and CEO.
“We, at the Y, just believe what Dr. King was all about. He was about acceptance, inclusion, brotherhood, and dignity. We can’t ever let that go and we won’t at the YMCA. We’re just so inspired by what he did.”
Highlighting the program was the presentation by Journalist Linda Alvarez of the Brotherhood and Human Dignity Awards. The recipients were recognized for their long history of personal involvement with the YMCA as well as influencing their agencies to contribute to the improvement of youth and families throughout Los Angeles.
The honorees were Carl Ballton, senior vice president of Union Bank and president/COO of Union Bank Foundation, and Linda Griego, president and chief executive officer of Griego Enterprises, Inc., a business management company, and founder of Engine Co. No. 28, a prominent restaurant in downtown Los Angeles.
L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas delivered the keynote address, imploring the crowd to continue King’s efforts to ensure equal rights for all. Also, Kejera Roberts gave the invocation. Roberts is an 11th grade student at Heritage College Academy and an officer with Youth in Government at the Weingart YMCA in South Los Angeles.
As the breakfast neared ending, classical soloist Nicole Taylor sang several spirituals including ‘My Lord, What A Morning,’ ‘Ride On, King Jesus,’ and the civil rights standard, ‘We Shall Overcome.’