Pleasanton Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - January 17, 2014

Honor Dr. King: 'Make Today Matter'

Annual Y breakfast to feature inspirational speaker

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

When community members gather to pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Y's breakfast each January, one thing is certain: The keynote speaker will have something valuable to say.

"Every year it's a little different," said Kelly O'Lague Dulka, executive director of the Tri-Valley YMCA.

Last year, Pleasanton Police Chief Dave Spiller told of his life's journey as he puts his dreams into action. This year, with the theme "Make Today Matter," inspirational speaker Gary Xavier from Think Kindness will share his story. He speaks on the power of individual resilience and group cohesion as well as kindness.

"Gary Xavier has a pretty impressive story," Dulka said.

He lost his father and his home when his family became bankrupt before he was 17, yet he always continued to push his physical limitations. He earned a first-degree black belt at age 10 and went on to become a national martial arts champ, PGA Golf professional and an elite Marine Corps scout sniper.

Dulka discovered Xavier when he spoke at Bishop O'Dowd High School, where he instigated a 10-day kindness plan.

"He did an amazing assembly on changing the world one act of kindness at a time," Dulka said. "I heard from friends and parents how amazing they thought he was."

The annual breakfast, being held this year for the 14th time, is about honoring Dr. King, emphasizing his message of service to others, Dulka said.

"Legacy awards will be presented to three people who have dedicated their lives to service," she noted.

This year's recipients of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Award are John Sensiba, managing partner at Sensiba San Filippo; Gloria Gregory, executive director of CityServe Tri-Valley; and Sharon White, community activist and volunteer. Videos will be shown on each of them and their service.

Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti will emcee the event.

Another benefit of the morning is that it brings members of the community together, civic leaders and those in education, Dulka said.

"It's a great morning," she added, "and we showcase the Y a little bit, what we're doing for the community. It's always about some call for action."

Celebrating MLK

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