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Hundreds attend 22nd annual Martin Luther King Day celebration in Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- One of the largest Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebrations in Wisconsin took place at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee. 

Seven hundred people gathered to honor Dr. King along with the individuals and groups doing work that reflects his vision during a breakfast hosted by the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee.  

Monday's speakers included Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, and Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele. Three students were given awards for their spoken word oral art presentations and delivered their winning speeches to large applauds. 

The YMCA's Healthy Living Award was presented to UWM's Joseph J. Silber School of Public Health. 

The YMCA's Social Responsibility Award was presented to the City of Milwaukee Violence Prevention Department. 

Organizers say the celebration is about bringing the community together. 

"The overall theme of this year is a quote by Dr. King. 'I've decided to stick with love. Hate is too far of a burden to bear. This is truly about celebrating the life of Dr. King and the YMCA just so happens to be the convener to bring everyone together," said Shanee Jenkins, VP of Operations and Social Responsibility for the YMCA. 

The celebration is in its 22nd year and organizers say it continues to grow every year.

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