FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, December 13, 2007
Sue Cobb or Sarah Moss, Mayor's Office
Mayor Hickenlooper Challenges Metro Denver Residents to Contribute $2 to Complete Construction of Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial
(DENVER) Standing beneath the Martin Luther King, Jr. statue in City Park, Mayor John Hickenlooper and former State Representative Wilma Webb joined leaders of Denver’s faith community and The Denver Foundation today in challenging residents of metro Denver to donate $2 to help complete construction of the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation has raised $70 million and still needs $30 million to complete construction of the memorial, which is scheduled to open in spring 2008. It is the first national memorial to an African-American leader to join the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument on the National Mall.
“Dr. King once told us, ‘Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase,’” Hickenlooper said. “Today, I am challenging each person in metro Denver to take that first step and give just $2 – or more – to help complete the national King memorial that will honor this great man and his important and enduring contributions to our society. It is a fitting tribute to Dr. King – and I daresay just what he would have wanted – to have his memorial funded with small contributions from many individuals working together to make a big difference in the world.”
Hickenlooper also encouraged cities throughout the country to join Denver in raising funds for the memorial. “As the home of one the largest Martin Luther King Day celebrations in the nation, Denver has a proud history of embracing the legacy and lessons of Dr. King,” Hickenlooper noted. “With this fundraising effort, we have another opportunity to lead cities across America in demonstrating our deep appreciation for Dr. King’s work and for all he taught us about freedom, justice and working together.”
“As we remember all of our blessings this holiday season, let us also remember the legacy of hope and progress that Dr. King left our nation,” added Wilma Webb, former six-term Colorado state legislator and the wife of former Mayor Wellington Webb. “With more than 570,000 people in Denver alone, a $2 donation from each of us could mean a significant financial contribution to building the national King Memorial.”
Former State Representative Webb sponsored legislation passed by the Colorado State Legislature establishing Colorado’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. She co-founded the Martin Luther King Jr. Colorado Holiday Commission, sponsor of Denver’s “Marade,” one of the largest Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations in the country. She is also a member of the Denver Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Coordinating Committee, led by Mrs. Marion Ellerbee with support from the Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance, to raise money in Denver for the national King Memorial.
Joining Hickenlooper and Webb at today’s announcement were Denver City Councilwoman Elbra Wedgeworth; Pastor Paul Burleson, president of the Greater Metro Denver Ministerial Alliance; Don Reeverts, president of the Denver Leadership Foundation; Pastor Tom Melton of Greenwood Community Church; Mary Sissel, outgoing chair of The Denver Foundation Board of Trustees; and Brother Jeff Fard, incoming chair of the of The Denver Foundation Board of Trustees.
The Denver Foundation has generously offered to cover administrative costs for collecting and processing contributions from metro Denver citizens.
“The Denver Foundation is honored to serve as a partner in this effort,” said Sissel, outgoing chair of The Denver Foundation Board of Trustees. “Dr. King gave so much to our country and our community, and it is a privilege to help Metro Denver residents pay tribute to his legacy.”
Donation envelopes will be distributed over the next few weeks to faith communities and other locations to be announced throughout the Denver metro area.
To participate in the Metro Denver Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Challenge:
Mail contributions of all sizes to:
The Denver Foundation/MLK Fund
950 South Cherry St., Ste. 222
Denver, CO 80246
Contributions over $50 can be made online at www.denverfoundation.org.
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