Events to remember and honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday begin with a morning peace drive in Toppenish and continue with a virtual celebration in Yakima that afternoon.

Related events include a commemorative community worship service at 3 p.m. Sunday on Zoom at The service was originally set to take place in person in Yakima but was moved online Friday as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

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A free food distribution event is planned from 9 a.m. to noon Friday at the Henry Beauchamp Community Center at 1211 S. Seventh St. Friday is the last day of the 19th annual Lee Paggett Food Drive at Eisenhower and Davis high schools in Yakima.

On Monday, the MLK Peace Drive in Toppenish begins at 9:30 a.m. with a welcome and kickoff at Toppenish Middle School, 104 Goldendale Ave. Participants are urged to remain in their vehicle and maintain a safe distance from others due to the rise of the omicron variant of COVID-19.

Enedeo Garza of Iglesia de Valle will offer opening statements and begin the drive, which will start at 10 a.m. The route will loop around Toppenish Middle School.

This is the 12th annual event and is a collaborative effort by Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic, the Toppenish School District, the City of Toppenish, the Community Safety Network of Toppenish, Fiesta Foods and Starbucks, according to a news release.

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Those attending are encouraged to have signs in their cars with their favorite MLK quotes, said Rosa Ortiz, outreach coordinator for Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic.

In Yakima, the annual Peace Walk has been canceled, but there will be a virtual program broadcasted via Zoom ( beginning at 1 p.m. Monday.

Adrianne Garner, director of the Henry Beauchamp Community Center, said members of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service planning committee modified this year’s celebration due to several factors, primarily the unexpected rise in the spread of COVID-19, according to a news release.

No events are scheduled Monday at Central Washington University in Ellensburg. On Tuesday, the university’s Diversity and Equity Center will present a virtual event, “MLK Real Talk,” from 4-5 p.m. on Zoom. It’s open to the public and the link is

The university also will play host to a number of Black History Month events, officials said.

— This story has been updated.

Reach Tammy Ayer at

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