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Marching With A Purpose

On Jan. 21, thousands of Denverites turned out for the 35th annual marade (march and parade) to honor slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. on what would have been his 90th birthday. The crowd gathered at the MLK, Jr. memorial statue in City Park just west of Park Hill. Before the crowd marched the three miles west up Colfax to the state capitol, numerous local dignitaries delivered speeches, including former state representative Wilma Webb, below, at microphone. “We’ve got a lot to celebrate,” said Webb, the marade’s founder. “But we’ve got a lot to work on.” 

Photos by Cara DeGette

For the past 12 years, the East High boys’ rugby team has shown up in force to the marade to honor MLK, Jr. and also pick up all of the trash that invariably makes its way to the ground along the route. This year about 40 teammates showed up. Head Coach Bill Baer and Steve Gore, the director of coaching at East, noted that the volunteer work is a great way to give back to the community while celebrating King ‘s legacy. Each year the young athletes collect the equivalent of about 20 garbage bags of trash. “Martin Luther King represents what we all strive for – diversity and equality,” said senior Jack Rocchio.

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