The theme this year is called "Education: A Pathway to the Future." The organizers normally surround their theme around education but they're pushing to focus on high school students this year.
"We want to let students know that in order to start a life beyond high school, they must pursue education," chairman of the banquet Carl Lockett said.
Superintendent Dr. Ralph Draper of Spring I.S.D. is the guest speaker for the ceremony. In addition, four students will be awarded with scholarships to help them with their education.
"We try to make sure that people never ever forget the legacy and sacrifice Dr. King has left," says Lockett.
Lockett, a retired colonel of the army, says it's their duty to keep Dr. King's name alive. At the time of Dr. King's assassination, Lockett's unit was the first to arrive in Washington D.C. when riots broke out.
"It was very intense," recalls Lockett. "It was very stressful because you have men younger than 20 years old trying to contain other men their age."
Nevertheless, Lockett is thankful for the experience and says he's inspired to have encountered the effects of civil rights. He retired in 1995, returned to Abilene and joined the chamber.
The banquet, which invites different organizations from Abilene, will be held at the Abilene Civic Center.
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