Ennis residents braved the rain and cold weather to take part in the annual King celebration and health fair.

The event, which honors the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., began Jan. 13 with an oratorical contest and ended Jan. 15, with a three-on-three basketball tournament held at the Ennis Boys & Girls Clubs.

The fest, which offered many free health services, has been an annual event for the last five years. It started through a combined effort of Shirley Watson and her daughter Charlotte as well as Shirley’s sister, Patricia Wilborn, who wanted to honor King and remember the efforts of community member, Lovie Boyd.

Boyd was an active member of the community and instrumental in getting a city street renamed in honor of King.

Every year, in her memory, the event recognizes two members of the community with an award given in her name.

This year the awards were given to Charlie Mae Presley and Woodrow Wilson. The recipients are active members of the community who demonstrate a desire to become involved in community service and who emphasize unity in the community, which is also the theme of the annual event.

“We wanted to create something for everyone in the community to come to and be involved in,” Shirley Watson said. “It was important for us to offer services to the community that everyone could take advantage of, no matter of race, religion or social status.”

The event has grown every year to include many volunteers who serve on the various boards and committees that make it possible and depends mainly on donations for its success.

Oratorical contest winners

First place winners were pre-kindergarten-first grade, Delana Wiley; second-third grade, Serita Johnson; fourth-fifth grade, Braxton Davis; and sixth-eighth grade, Veronica Artega.

Second place winners were pre-kindergarten-first grade, Hannah White; second-third grade, Valerie Artega; fourth-fifth grade; LaShandra Washington and Summer Satterwhite (tied); and sixth-eighth grade, Alexander Jordan.

Third place winners were second-third grade, Juan Campos; fourth-fifth grade, Cassandra Casanova; and sixth-eighth grade, Alan Jordan.