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Seneca County Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration 2021

The Tiffin-Seneca Community Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day celebration is going virtual at 7 p.m., January 18, 2021. It will be available to view on the Tiffin Seneca Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Facebook page and at

The program will include a collection of video-streamed greetings by NAACP representative, Joni Pinskey, Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz and Fostoria Mayor Eric Keckler and Tiffin and Heidelberg University student representatives. Addressing the theme “Seeking Justice: Make it Fair,” Dr. Trevor Bates, the newly appointed president of Wilmington College, will speak on “Keep Moving …Forward.” Bates most recently served as the Chief Academic Officer at Mercy College of Ohio, and prior to that, he was the founding Associate Dean of the Division of Health Sciences, Chair and Director of Athletic Training at Heidelberg University, Tiffin. He currently is doing post-doctoral studies at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education – Institute for Educational Management.

The title of Bates’ talk is from the quote by Dr. King, “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you must keep moving forward.” Bates finds that Dr. King continues to influence his life through King’s “unyielding focus on equity, fairness, and the journey to reach what he called the Beloved Community.” Bates continues, “My personal and professional life has been offered many challenges and opportunities, and I am grateful for each one. I would not change a thing because, as I keep moving, I continue to gain a better understanding of the notion that in order to get to where we are called to be, we must go through many hardships to be best prepared to serve one another.”

Schoolchildren from Tiffin and Fostoria submitted essays on “What did MLK do to make life fair? What can you do to make life fair?” The award-winning essays will be read by Tiffin Krout school third-graders Norah Schmits and Kevin Gibson from Jennifer Gressman’s class and Fostoria Elementary sixth-grade students Mylin Hamilton in Mrs. Miller’s class and Addison Wright in Mrs. Dawson’s class.

The online Facebook group Helping Hands in Seneca County is the recipient of this year’s Peacemaker Award, and organizers Anne DeVine, Jill Gosche and Andrea Forbes Traunero express their appreciation for the honor. A traditional part of the celebration, this year’s choral selections include “Wade in the Water” performed by the masked Heidelberg University Concert Choir and “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the Grammy-nominated a cappella performance by vocalist Jarrett Johnson with Take 6 bass singer Alvin Chea. A regular collaborator with the Tiffin University music program and a cappella groups at Tiffin University, Johnson most recently appeared as the guest artist in the final performance of TU’s “12 Days of Christmas at the Ritz.” An acclaimed vocalist, songwriter and producer, he has written for Quincy Jones, sung as a backup vocalist for Michael Bublé and performed with other a cappella groups.