Pastor RowePress release from The Community YMCA

Pastor Jacquelyn Rowe of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Red Bank will be the keynote speaker at the 26th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Breakfast hosted by The Community YMCA and The YMCA of Western Monmouth County.

The annual YMCA event, which honors the legacy of the civil rights leader, will take place Monday, Jan. 19, 2015, 8 to 10 am, at Branches, 123 Monmouth Road, West Long Branch.

This year, the service project for the breakfast will support Project Homeless Connect of Monmouth County, a charity that works to provide various health and human services for homeless residents, or those who are on in danger of becoming homeless. Donations of gloves, mittens and scarves will be collected at the breakfast.

The memorial event will include musical selections and the winner of an essay contest among YMCA high school participants.

“It is important for everyone to understand Dr. King’s legacy as a peacemaker and humanitarian, especially with our current troubled societies,” said Rhonda Anderson, President and CEO of The Community YMCA. “His message, now more than ever, needs to be carried on to the next generation,” she added.

Reverend Rowe recently joined St. Thomas after her former parish, St. Clemons in Belford, was closed due to extensive damage from Superstorm Sandy. She also has held positions in the public sector including Head Start Director, Human Resources Administration, and Chief of Administration of the Corrections Department in Miami.

Reverend Rowe currently serves as the Co-Coordinator of Sandy Relief efforts for the Diocese of New Jersey, providing leadership and administrative support. She has established a relationship with Lunch Break to help expand services to families and individuals impacted by Sandy in the county.

High school students participating in programs at The Community YMCA or the Western Monmouth County YMCA are encouraged to enter the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. essay contest. The deadline for applications for the essay contest is January 5, 2015. Submissions may be send via e-mail to

Seating for the breakfast is limited; please RSVP by January 12, 2015. Tickets are $30 per adult, $10 per youth (12 & under) or $250 per table of 10 and are available online here.

For more information, call Tricia Tilly at (732)671-5505, ext. 141, or email