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Five to be honored with “Living the Dream” awards during this weekend’s celebration of Martin Luther King Day


Five people will be honored Saturday with “Living the Dream” awards as part of the state’s observance of the Martin Luther King Day holiday. The awards will be presented by Governor Cecil H. Underwood during an 11 a.m. luncheon in the Great Hall of the Cultural Center in the State Capitol Complex.

Sponsored by the Martin Luther King Jr. West Virginia Holiday Commission and the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, the awards are presented annually to those who best exemplify, through action or personal traits, the principles and ideals characterizing King in his pursuit of social change. This year’s honorees include:

Dr. Katherine Bankole of Morgantown - “Scholarship Award” for significant contributions in education;

Ken Hechler of Charleston - “Human and Civil Rights Award” for advocating social change in the pursuit of equality for others;

George C. Rutherford of Shepherdstown - “Sharing of Self Award” for service rendered to others in the public or private sector;

Rev. Larry Patterson of Huntington - “Advocate of Peace Award” for advocating social change in a non-violent way; and

Joan C. Browning of Lewisburg - “Governor’s Living the Dream Award” for best exemplifying the characteristics of justice, scholarship, sharing of self, human and civil rights, and advocacy of peace.

For more information about the awards or this weekend’s Martin Luther King Day activities, call Ginny Painter at (304) 558-0220, ext. 120.

Any person, regardless of race, color or creed, may be nominated for the awards. The mission of the Holiday Commission is to provide programs celebrating the life and principles of King’s philosophy of non-violence, lengthening his legacy. Strengthened by diversity, the Holiday Commission draws together members who strive to create opportunity for growth, leadership and power in order to attain a common vision: peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all people.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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