Star Wars Creator George Lucas Donates $1 Million for Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Project

Filmmaker George Lucas has made a $1 million contribution to help build a memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington, DC, it was announced today by Harry E. Johnson Sr., President of the Washington DC Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation Inc. Lucas will also serve as a co-host at the “Dream Dinner” in San Francisco to raise funds and heighten visibility for the MLK National Memorial.

The Bay Area “Dream Dinner” will be held at the Ferry Building in San Francisco on Saturday, Nov. 19, with a reception at 6 pm and dinner at 7 pm. Joining George Lucas as co-hosts are Victor MacFarlane, founder of MacFarlane Partners, the leading minority-owned real estate investment management company in the United States; Deborah and Carlos Santana, founders of the charitable Milagro Foundation; and Bonnie Fisher and Boris Dramov of ROMA Design Group.

The dinner program will include San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. The dinner menu is designed by Alice Waters, founder of Chez Panisse restaurant and The Chez Panisse Foundation that is committed to transforming public education by using food traditions to teach, nurture, and empower young people.

“The ideals and principles for which Dr. King fought have never been forgotten and are as relevant today as they were 40 years ago,” Lucas said. “Martin Luther King Jr. has inspired millions of people, and this memorial will ensure that his message endures for generations to come.”

With this contribution from Lucas, more than $40 million of the $100 million needed to complete the project has been raised. In August, Congress authorized $10 million in matching funds for the memorial. Among the major contributors to the project to date are: General Motors, Tommy Hilfiger Corporate Foundation, The Ford Motor Company Fund, Toyota, Procter & Gamble, NBA/WNBA, AFLAC, FannieMae Foundation, Fannie Mae, The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, Horowitz Family Foundation, Federated Department Stores Foundation, BellSouth, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Delta Airlines Foundation, and BET founder and Washington Mystics owner Sheila Johnson.

“This generous contribution from George Lucas will help honor the principles for which Dr. King stood: justice, hope, and freedom for all. By making this contribution and co-hosting the San Francisco ‘Dream Dinner,’ Mr. Lucas adds to the tremendous momentum and support the MLK National Memorial Foundation has received,” said Johnson.

In 2000, the San Francisco-based ROMA Design Group won the international design competition, which received more than 1000 entries, for the MLK National Memorial. The memorial honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be built on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The memorial will be situated adjacent to the F.D.R. Memorial and in a direct line between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. Congress passed Joint Resolutions in 1996 authorizing Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., to establish a memorial honoring Dr. King to be built in Washington, D.C. Groundbreaking on the memorial is scheduled for late 2006, and construction is expected to be completed in 2008.

Lucas joins a growing list of national figures supporting the memorial, including Coretta Scott King, the Honorable Andrew Young, the Honorable Jack Kemp, J.W. Marriott Jr., General Colin Powell, Morgan Freeman, David Stern, and Jack Valenti.

For more information about the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project, visit http://www.buildthedream.org

via U.S. Newswire

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