The $50,000 pledge, which will be fulfilled over a five-year period, was initiated with a $10,000 check presented to Harry E. Johnson, Sr., president of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc., by Lance Shaner, president, Shaner Hotel Group. The presentation was part of celebratory activities at an MLK-themed "Building The Dream" luncheon at the Dayton Holiday Inn South.
"During the past few months, we have developed a special relationship with Dayton's African-American community," said Shaner. "We value this relationship very much. Our initial contribution to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Foundation and those to follow, are meant to symbolize the new, lasting friendships that we have forged. It is our way of underlining our commitment to the the African-American community in Dayton and other cities where we operate."
"Mr. Shaner's contribution to a national memorial honoring Dr. King is significant. Because it was pledged in Dayton, this city steps to the forefront of the national effort to honor Dr. King's contributions to America," Johnson said.
Proceeds from the Dayton "Building the Dream" luncheon, where the pledge was announced, will benefit the MLK Memorial Foundation.
Johnson, a Houston attorney, serves as general president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the nation's first African-American college fraternity, and is recognized as one of the country's 100 most influential African-Americans. He heads the national program to build a King Memorial, scheduled to break ground in November. The memorial will occupy a four-acre site on Washington's scenic Tidal Basin between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials.
Shaner Hotel Group is a lodging company that owns and operates 25 hotels in 19 states. Holiday Inn is one of eleven brands which are included in the Shaner portfolio of properties. The privately owned hotel company is headquartered in State College, Pa.
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