MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
Several hundred individuals from the local community gathered at the Albany James H. Gray Sr. Civic Center for the 21st annual King Day Celebration to pay tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., noted civil rights leader, Jan. 19.
The theme for this year’s event, “Justice and Equality for the Next Generation” is fitting as one of the three Dream Award recipients was honored for his community service to local youth.
Master Sgt. William Tolleson, procurement chief, Contracts Department, Marine Corps Logistics Command, was selected as a 2016 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dream Award recipient.
Tolleson said giving back to the community is important to him because he wakes up each morning wanting to make a difference and learn something new.
“Volunteering in the community allows me to make a difference and I am surprised on many occasions with the things I can learn from people older and younger than me,” Tolleson said. “I’m glad I was given an opportunity to teach, inspire and motivate kids to reach their full potential.”
He offered a bit of encouragement to others who may be considering community service.
“Life is short so go out there and make a difference each and every day,” Tolleson said. “Strive for excellence and you will be surprised with the outcome.
“I am blessed each day to wake up and try my best to positively contribute to this great nation both in and out of uniform,” he added. “I am honored to receive this award because it represents such a remarkable contributor to society and it feels good to be recognized for my contributions to the community (by the community).”
Dr. Brenda Hodges-Tiller, award committee chair, King Day Celebration Committee, said the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dream Award recipients are selected from a pool of nominees who represent the best examples of servant leaders working toward the common goal of serving the needs of those in the community.
“As with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., they are motivated by a genuine concern for their fellow persons,” Hodges-Tiller said. “While they do not seek personal accolades or commendations for these efforts, it is appropriate and fitting that we recognize them.
“The recipients are individuals who celebrate diversity and generously share their time, talent and energy to help create a better world for all,” she said.