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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 12, 2001

Governor Proclaims January 13-21 Martin Luther King Jr. Week

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today proclaimed January 13 - January 21 as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Week in Illinois. Citing Dr. King's passionate commitment to volunteerism and community service, the governor urged everyone to participate in volunteer activities in honor of Dr. King.

"Dr. King worked tirelessly to break down the barriers that have divided our nation," Governor Ryan said. "In his honor, we should join together to rededicate ourselves to improving the quality of life for all Americans."

A number of volunteer activities, including reading to children, cleaning city parks and sprucing up various social service facilities will be held across the state on Monday, January 15, the actual anniversary of Dr. King's birth.

"We're pleased that many of our clients and staff will be participating in the Dr. King Day activities," said DHS Secretary Linda Renee Baker. "Community service is an integral part of our agency and the idea of extending a hand of friendship to fellow citizens in need is a fitting tribute to Dr. King's memory."

The practice of performing volunteer work on the Martin Luther King holiday dates back to1994 when President Clinton signed into law the King Holiday and Service Act, which turned the holiday into a day of service reflecting the life and teaching of Dr. King.

For information on programs offered by the Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Services call 217-558-2676.


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