George Prescott Bush, the eldest child of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and his wife, Columba, and the nephew of President George W. Bush, will be the keynote speaker Jan. 15 for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Celebration that kicks off Saturday.

Other events planned include an oratorical contest, a peace march and parade, a youth summit, a gospel sing and a breakfast.

According to Ambrose King, the founder and president of The King Association for Social Change and MLK event planner, Bush, 30, is "an ideal speaker for the MLK program because he brings a lot to the table."

Bush's mother, Columba Garnica Gallo, was born in Mexico, and his heritage has made him a popular figure with Hispanic voters.

"He's Hispanic, Republican and a blue-blood member of the Bush family," King said. "He has a heart for humanitarianism and a lot of people compare him to a young John F. Kennedy.

"He's good-looking, he's articulate, and we might be getting a visit from a future president."

King said the young Bush serves on his foundation's board.

Bush has an undergraduate degree from Rice University and earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Texas in 2003. He married a law school classmate, Amanda "Mandi" Williams, in August 2004. He practiced law in Dallas until 2006 before joining Charter Holdings, a real estate investment company.

Bush went to high school with popular musical artist Enrique Iglesias, at Gulliver Preparatory School in Miami.

Like his grandfather, Bush was a walk-on to the Rice varsity baseball team, although he only played for one season. Bush did play for the Jones College intramural football team, and was considered an outstanding player.

Bush campaigned for his uncle during the 2000 presidential campaign, and also spoke at the 2004 Republican National Convention.

Bush has been outspoken on certain issues. During a trip to Mexico in 2004, he publicly criticized Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as a dictator and criticized the U.S. Border Patrol's use of guns that fire plastic pellets packed with chili powder.

Bush will speak on the event's theme, "King's Dream of Building the Beloved Community" at 10 a.m. Jan. 15 at the Tift Theatre. Tickets for the event are $40 each and can be purchased at the door.

Tickets can also be purchased in advance at Hidden Agenda, Wal-Mart customer service, Greg Isaac’s and the Abraham Baldwin College business office.

An Oratorical Contest at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Neighborhood Service Center will kick off the celebration's events. The event is sponsored by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

The official rules for the contest are as follows:

1. Contestants must write and recite an oration centered on the

topic “Nonviolence: My Choice As A Way Of Life.” The orator must speak for at least 2 minutes and must not exceed 4 minutes.

2. The oration must incorporate at least two principles of nonviolence from

the list below.

3. In order to participate, contestants must register 15 minutes prior to the contest. Categories for participation are grades 4-6, grades 7-8 and grades 9-12.

Cash prizes will be awarded to first-, second- and third-place winners in each category.

Dr. King’s Six Principles Of Nonviolence are:

1. Nonviolence is a way of life for courageous people. It is active

nonviolent resistance to evil?

2. Nonviolence seeks to win friendship and understanding. The end result of

nonviolence is redemption and reconciliation?

3. Nonviolence seeks to defeat injustice, not people. Nonviolence recognizes that evildoers are also victims.

4. Nonviolence holds that suffering can educate and transform. Nonviolence willingly accepts the consequences of its acts.

5. Nonviolence chooses love instead of hate. Nonviolence resists violence of the spirit as well as the body. Nonviolent love is active, not passive.

Nonviolent love does not sink to the level of the hater. Love restores

community and resists injustice. Nonviolence recognizes the fact that all life is inter-related.

6. Nonviolence believes that the universe is on the side of justice. The

nonviolent resister has deep faith that justice will eventually win.

At 7 p.m. Jan. 14, the musical "A King Concert" will be performed at

the Everette Temple CMC Church. The event is sponsored by The King Association for Social Change, Inc.

The annual MLK Breakfast will begin at 8 a.m. Jan. 15, in Abraham Baldwin College's Donaldson Dining Hall. The event is sponsored by PLIGHT, Inc., and tickets are $8 each and need to be purchased in advance by Tuesday from the PLIGHT office in the Neighborhood Service Center on South Central Avenue or by calling 386-4360.

After the commemorative service featuring Bush, at 1 p.m. will begin a parade and peace March sponsored by the Tifton Chapter of the NAACP, Inc.

Participants are urged to line up at 12:30 p.m. on 17th Street in the parking lot behind Thomas Food Store. The U.S. Marine Corps Band will lead the parade, and adults who don't want to walk are encouraged to drive. Walking and riding individuals and groups are welcome to participate.

The march will end at the Tift Theatre where the speaker will be Thurmond Walker, a Tifton native who is a businessman in Washington, D.C., according to organizer Pat Melton.

At 5 p.m. at the Tift Theatre, a Youth Summit is planned with Topper the Clown Ministry entertaining and an MLK question and answer session with prizes.

Then at 7 p.m. at the theatre, a gospel concert sponsored by The King

Association for Social Change, Inc., is planned. The cost is $10 per ticket at the door. Entertainment will include a variety of Spanish, Italian and Negro spiritual music, instrumentals and choirs from the area as well as saxaphone and clarinet solos.

"It will be a beautiful performance with a very dramatic finale," King said.

At 7 p.m. Jan. 20, a Talent Showcase will be held at the J.T.

Reddick Gymnasium. Auditions will be held at 9 a.m. in the gym. People 10 to 18 years old, or groups, are encouraged to prepare an act that takes between three and five minutes to perform. Dance, music, skits and comedy or other varieties of talent are welcome. Cash prizes will be awarded.

For more information about the celebration, email Ambrose King at

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