Information provided by Elvira Zaragoza Robinson.
Bethany Community Church is set to honor four individuals at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Breakfast on Monday, Jan. 20 at Old City Hall in Gilroy. This is the 11th year the church has hosted the event.
This year’s honorees include deacon and retired professor John Payne, Gavilan College Superintendent/President Kathleen Rose, Indian Canyon Chairperson Ann-Marie Sayers, and El Teatro Campesino Founder Luis Valdez.
The selection process is based on the work and service of honorees in the community. Previous honorees include Rosso’s Furniture owner and Gilroy Unified School District board member Jaime Rosso, coach and youth mentor Lovell KC Adams, retired assistant district attorney Rolanda Pierre Dixon, and boxing coach and youth mentor Zeke Lopez.
“Bethany Community Church chooses to honor people because we are a community church that recognizes and honors people for what they do for the community at-large,” said Elvira Zaragoza Robinson, Hollister-based attorney and director of the awards breakfast. “You cannot look at the life of Martin Luther King and not see his devotion to service. The people we honor continue his legacy.”
After 38 years of teaching, John Payne retired from teaching kinesiology at Evergreen Valley College in 2018. He has been head deacon of Bethany Community Church for 28 years.
Kathleen Rose has worked in the California Community College system since 2002. She’s overseen Gavilan College as superintendent/president for the last four years, but was previously executive vice president and chief instruction officer at the college for seven years.
Ann-Marie Sayers speaks on her personal history as an indigenous Californian, as well as on the importance of her spiritual and ancestral heritage. She is the current chairperson of Indian Canyon.
Luis Valdez is regarded as an influential American playwright. He is the founder and artistic director of El Teatro Campesino in San Juan Bautista, who in the mid-1960s was involved with Cesar Chavez, the United Farm Workers and the Great Delano Grape Strike.
State Assemblyman Robert Rivas and State Senator Anna Caballero are expected to attend.
The awards breakfast kicks off at 9 a.m. with a silent auction. Tickets are $50 per person.
For more information or tickets, call Robinson at (831) 801-5530.