The Martin Luther King Holiday Commission presented awards Jan. 16 to individuals and organizations for their work in humanitarian causes.

The annual award goes to individuals and organizations that exemplify Dr. King’s commitment to live and lead in the example of peace; in his words, “If I can help someone, then my living shall not be in vain.”

Two local organizations, the Colorado Commission for the Homeless and Rise Colorado, received the Commission’s Dr. Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award.

The Colorado Coalition for the Homeless received its award in recognition of its efforts in preventing homelessness and serving Colorado’s population of people experiencing homelessness.

John Parvensky, President of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless accepted the award saying, “We believe all people have the right to adequate housing and healthcare. By removing barriers to these rights, we are able to help individuals and families live healthier, happier lives, while also building stronger, caring communities. We are truly honored to receive this award and to be among these caring and community-minded award recipients.”

Individuals honored for their work in humanitarian causes included: Michelyn Johnson (Humanitarian Award); Noah Jones (Outstanding Youth Award); Charles McCulley, Owetta McNeal, and Dr. Ruth Steele (Lifetime Achievement Award); and Larry Borom, Raphael Corky Gonzalez, and Bishop Phillip Porter (Wilma J. Webb Founder’s Award).

These awards, presented in conjunction with a concert by the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, serve as one of the many celebrations, facilitated by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Colorado Holiday Commission, of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. occurring throughout the state.