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MLK Day March & Ceremony Inspires Community to Carry on King’s Legacy

Published on Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Attached picture (l to r) Margaret Dimond, President and CEO McLaren Oakland; Pastor Douglas P. Jones, Greater Pontiac Community Coalition; Heidi McGlinnen, Marketing Director McLaren Oakland; Mayor Deirdre Waterman, City of Pontiac

Residents and community leaders of all ages gathered together on Monday, January 21, 2019 at McLaren Oakland to share their dreams and hear stories of triumph, as they celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Following the Greater Pontiac Community Coalition’s MLK Unity March from the Phoenix Center, participants gathered in the hospital lobby for a continental breakfast and special ceremony.

McLaren Oakland served as a sponsor of the 2019 Greater Pontiac Community Coalition’s Unity Week Events. This year’s theme was “Keep Dreaming the Dream, We Shall Overcome.”  Heidi McGlinnen, marketing director, McLaren Oakland, served as mistress of ceremonies, while Margaret Dimond, president and CEO of McLaren Oakland, welcomed everyone. Dimond was honored to host this event and said, “The goal of Martin Luther King Jr. Day is for all of us to commit to a day of national service. It’s a day of volunteerism. It’s a day of commitment to our community. McLaren Oakland is honored to host today’s event and to honor a tremendous leader, Martin Luther King, Jr.”

Pontiac Mayor Deirdre Waterman also spoke and said, “Thank you to all of those who have partnered with the city to bring us on the journey to where we are today. However, one of the things we must remember about Martin Luther King’s legacy is that without pain there is no progress. There is still pain in our society. The work is not yet done.”

Speakers and dignitaries present at the event included Margaret Dimond, president and CEO McLaren Oakland; Minister Kevin Sanders, Walton Boulevard Church; Mayor Deirdre Waterman, City of Pontiac; Councilman Kermit Williams, president, Pontiac City Council; Brenda Carter, state representative; Bishop Antonio Gibson, New Experience Christian Church; and Pastor Douglas P. Jones from Welcome Baptist Church and president of the Greater Pontiac Community Coalition.

The ceremony included singing, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and “We Shall Overcome,” led by Gloria Rodgers. Pastor Douglas Jones gave closing remarks stating “Martin Luther King Day is not just about one individual, it’s about everybody. Walking in the frigid cold during the March this morning was the least sacrifice any of us can make as we walk forward to make the dream possible.”

About McLaren Oakland Foundation

The McLaren Oakland Foundation is the fundraising and community outreach arm of McLaren Oakland. Established in 2004 to ensure that everyone, regardless of age, race and financial status has access to state-of-the-art health care services, the McLaren Oakland Foundation strives to improve the health and well-being of underserved individuals in Oakland County.

The McLaren Oakland Foundation has provided over 4,000 free mammogram screenings to medically underserved women; breast cancer awareness and education throughout Oakland County; support to the McLaren Oakland Children’s Clinic; and health screenings for the local community. To learn more, visit

About McLaren Oakland
McLaren Oakland is a 328-bed medical center that provides primary and specialty healthcare services to the greater Pontiac and Oakland County community. Founded in 1953, McLaren Oakland has grown to a comprehensive medical community that includes outpatient facilities in Clarkston and Oxford, in addition to an inpatient hospital in Pontiac providing a range of clinical services including emergency and trauma care, cardiology, cancer services, minimally invasive robotic surgery and orthopedic services. With a network of more than 300 physicians, McLaren Oakland owns a network of employed physician offices throughout Oakland County and a nursing home in Lake Orion. McLaren Oakland is a Level II verified trauma center and an accredited stroke center. McLaren Oakland offers AOA approved residency and fellowship programs in anesthesiology, emergency medicine, family practice, general surgery, internal medicine, dermatology, ophthalmology, orthopedic surgery, podiatry, radiology, and otolaryngology and facial plastic surgery.