Kathryn Shuler

Southwest Orlando Jaycees, City of Orlando MLK Commission and the YMCA of Central Florida host 32nd Annual Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy Prayer Breakfast

ORLANDO, Fla. (Jan. 16, 2023) — This morning, over 450 civic leaders, pastors, and Central Florida residents once again gathered in person together to celebrate and honor the legacies of Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the 32nd annual Arthur “Pappy” Kennedy Prayer Breakfast presented by PepsiCo. Kennedy holds an important place in Orlando’s history as the first African American elected to serve on its city council in 1972.

“Pappy Kennedy is known for breaking the color barrier in our community for black-elected officials and being a voice for all residents he served,” said Kevin Bolding, YMCA of Central Florida president and CEO. “Today, we gathered in person for the first time since 2020 to honor two truly remarkable men, leaders and heroes.”

During the event, the Southwest Orlando Jaycees, City of Orlando MLK Commission and the YMCA of Central Florida continued their tradition of awarding scholarships to eight local high school students. These scholarships are designed to assist minority high school seniors who are planning to attend an accredited post-secondary institution in the fall of 2023 but may lack the financial resources to cover the costs associated with tuition and/or books.

“Scholarships are a game changer in opening the doors to higher education, particularly to low-income students, who often need support the most,” said Dana Mackey, Southwest Orlando Jaycees president. “The Arthur Pappy Kennedy Scholarship continues to level the playing field by providing equitable opportunities for those too often left out or left behind.”

This year’s breakfast featured an inspiring address from distinguished community leader and former Orange County Public Schools’ Superintendent Dr. Barbara Jenkins. The event was also attended by many elected officials and community leaders, including Mayor Jerry Demings and Mayor Buddy Dyer.

For high-res images and b-roll from today’s event, click here.

About the YMCA of Central Florida

Driven by its Christian mission, the YMCA of Central Florida serves as a leading 501c(3) nonprofit committed to strengthening the community. The Y empowers everyone, no matter who they are or where they're from, by ensuring access to resources, relationships and opportunities for all to learn, grow and thrive. By bringing together people from different backgrounds, perspectives and generations, the Y's goal is to improve overall health and well-being, ignite youth empowerment and demonstrate the importance of connections in and across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Marion Counties. To learn more, visit ymcacf.org and follow on Facebook or Instagram.