Council applauds Day of Service programs

held to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

MLK Day of Service

Honoring Dr. King’s Legacy of Service

Delaware County Council recognized two events held each year to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Hoops from the Heart to benefit the Community Action Agency and the Unity Breakfast hosted by the Community YMCA of Eastern Delaware County. Shown at the Jan. 11 Council meeting are, from left, Pastor David Shaheen, executive director of the Upper Darby Community Outreach Corp.; Vincent Gordon, Community Y Foundation board member; Councilman Dave White; Leanne Robert, shelter administrator of the Life Center in Upper Darby; and Ed Coleman, chief executive  officer for the Community Action Agency of Delaware County; and back row, Michael Ranck, president/CEO of the Community Y; Council members Mike Culp, Vice Chair Colleen Morrone and John McBlain.

Delaware County Council commended and will participate in two special programs held each year to continue the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to serve others.

Monday, Jan. 16, marks the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday, first created in 1983 to mark the birthday of Dr. King. In 1994, Congress designated Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a national day of service when people are encouraged to participate in activities that help our neighbors and improve our communities.

“That spirit of service is strong here in Delaware County. There are several events being held on Monday that call on people to NOT take a day off, but instead to work on a service project,” said County Councilman Dave White. “While we can’t list all of the excellent programs going on throughout the county for MLK Day, we do want to highlight two initiatives: Hoops from the Heart and the Unity Day Breakfast.

  • This year is the 16th anniversary of the Hoops From the Heart basketball fundraiser and food drive that takes place at four colleges and raises money for the Community Action Agency of Delaware County, which is the county’s anti-poverty agency.

To date, this event has raised over $100,000 for the Community Action Agency.

This event involves hundreds of young athletes who attend basketball clinics at Haverford, Neumann, Widener and Cabrini colleges. Proceeds from the clinics are used to help needy families plus the participants bring non-perishable food items that are delivered to the Life Center in Upper Darby, which serves homeless individuals.

“We are always impressed by the dedication of the coaches, the enthusiasm of the athletes and the generosity of everyone involved. It’s a great moment when we make that final delivery of food to the Life Center in Upper Darby,” White said. “I’d also like to point out that half of the funding for the Community Action Agency comes from private sources and fundraisers, such as this MLK Day event, thus reducing the agency’s dependency on government funding.”

  • Also on Monday, people will gather at the Drexelbrook in Upper Darby for the Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Day Breakfast. This annual event is hosted by the Community YMCA of Eastern Delaware County in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, Upper Darby Community Outreach Corp., local churches and area schools.


The event features the presentation of student essays, uplifting music and an inspirational keynote address. This year’s speaker is Renee Amoore, an award-winning businesswoman and author. Born in Bryn Mawr, Ms. Amoore is a role model for anyone looking to make an impact in business, civil rights or politics.

She started her career as a registered nurse who advocated for clinically-appropriate and cost effective alternatives to expensive healthcare. Eventually she started her own company, the Amoore Group Inc., which provides diverse services.

She was the first African American to be elected to the Upper Merion School District and she also made history in 2004 when she became the first woman and African American to chair a Pennsylvania delegation to the Republican National Convention.

“By hosting speakers like Ms. Amoore, the Unity Day Breakfast continues Martin Luther King’s legacy of celebrating people who serve others. The breakfast also supports the YMCA’s mission to promote the values of caring, honesty, respect and responsibility,” White said.

Attending the Jan. 11 County Council meeting for Hoops from the Heart were Ed Coleman, the Director of the Community Action Agency; Debbie Brodeur, the program coordinator for Hoops from the Heart; Leann Robert, the fairly new Shelter Administrator at the Life Center; and Bobbi Morgan, head coach of women’s basketball at Haverford College, who helped launch Hoops from the Heart.

Attending on behalf of the Unity Day Breakfast were Michael L. Ranck, President/CEO, Community YMCA of Eastern Delaware County; Vincent Gordon, a member or the Community YMCA Foundation Board of Directors; and Pastor David Shaheen, Executive Director, Upper Darby Community Outreach Corporation.