Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson's Communications Office
Gov. Beshear, Lt. Gov. Abramson Participate in Celebration, Awards Ceremony to Honor Martin Luther King Jr.

Press Release Date:  Thursday, January 16, 2014  
Contact Information:  Kerri Richardson
Terry Sebastian

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Steve Beshear and Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson today honored a Harrodsburg resident and several student writers and artists during the state’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.

The Martin Luther King Jr. State Commission holds the event annually to highlight the life of King as a civil rights champion and to honor individuals who embody his spirit and energy.

“This celebration is a reminder each year that the work of Martin Luther King, which we honor with this remembrance, must live on through all of us,” Gov. Beshear said. “Whether it is in the essays or art from our young people, or in the ongoing work by citizen leaders who uphold King’s legacy in communities across the Commonwealth, we applaud those who keep his message alive.”

Lt. Gov. Abramson presented the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Citizenship Award to the Rev. John D. Short III. The award is given to an individual who demonstrates leadership and achievement in the principles of racial equality, interracial harmony and economic justice.

“The Rev. Short’s life and career reflect characteristics of Dr. King and embody the spirit of this award,” said Lt. Gov. Abramson. “A proud husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, it’s no surprise a member of Rev. Short’s family nominated him for this prestigious award. His nephew, Russ Mays, said his uncle and mentor is the perfect example of a man who is all about ‘love, action and what is right for all people.’ It’s an honor and privilege for us to present this award to the reverend.”

Short, 62, is pastor of Centennial Baptist Church in Harrodsburg, and has a long record of service with community organizations and in civil rights activities, including with the NAACP. Over the course of more than four decades Short has worked as a passionate advocate for equality in his community.

Chester Grundy and Ann Grundy, of Lexington, both lifelong advocates for programs which promote cultural awareness and cross-cultural understanding, participated in the celebration as guest speakers. The event hosted by KET’s Renee Shaw was held at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in Frankfort.

Seventeen elementary, middle and high school students from across the Commonwealth were honored with awards as winners of the Martin Luther King Jr. essay and visual art contest on the theme “Opportunities to Rise: Building Bridges.” Click http:/ for a complete list of the winners.