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Pleasanton set to reflect on impact of Martin Luther King Jr.

Annual fellowship breakfast set for Jan. 28

The Pleasanton Community of Character Collaborative is set to hold the 19th annual Martin Luther King Jr. fellowship breakfast later this month.

The morning event, which includes a keynote address and handing out the Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Awards, is scheduled for Jan. 28 from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Pleasanton at The Club (7050 Johnson Drive).

The fellowship breakfast will come one week after the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, which the nation will recognize this coming Monday.

King is etched into world history as one of the most influential American civil rights leaders. The Nobel Peace Prize recipient, who would have marked his 90th birthday on Jan. 15, was assassinated in Memphis on April 4, 1968.

The annual fellowship breakfast is among the ways the Pleasanton community commemorates King's contributions each winter.

This year, the event's keynote speaker will be Brian Copeland, an actor, author, playwright and radio talk show host. Entertainment will be provided by The Blue Boat Jazz Quintet, and former Dublin mayor Tim Sbranti will serve as the emcee.

The collaborative will also continue the tradition of recognizing community contributions with the Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Awards. This year's recipients are Joanna "Joey" Livingston in honor of her support of nonprofits such as Child Care Links, and Lisa McNaney, founder and executive director of Culinary Angels.

Livingston has partnered with local nonprofits to promote early literacy to help young children, using her online presence from her "A Cup a Joey" blog and social media following to generate support for causes close to her heart.

She recently "adopted" Child Care Links and encouraged her fans to donate over 7,000 diapers, 10,000 baby wipes and 200 books for low-income children in the Tri-Valley community. She has undertaken similar outreach and fundraising efforts for other early literacy projects in the East Bay. Livingston is married to Golden State Warriors guard Shaun Livingston.

McNaney, a longtime Livermore resident, founded Culinary Angels in November 2016 to provide nutrient-rich meals to people going through a serious health challenge.

A community volunteer for healthy living, education and cooking practices for over a decade, McNaney was inspired to create Culinary Angels after her own battle with cancer -- during which she said she became acutely aware of the important role proper nutrition plays in fighting cancer.

In just over two years, McNaney's all-volunteer, nonprofit organization has grown to serve over 1,800 meals to recipients and their caregivers.

Tickets to the Jan. 28 fellowship breakfast are $40 per person while supplies last. Register online by visiting www.pleasanton.org/events and clicking on the "MLK Fellowship Breakfast 2019" tab. Proceeds from the event benefit the collaborative's Juanita Haugen Scholarship Fund.

This marks the second year in a row that the Community of Character Collaborative has spearheaded the King event, which for years was organized by the Tri-Valley YMCA before abruptly ending its sponsorship ahead of the 2018 event.

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