(Article content by Stacy Hanna, published by the Battle Creek Enquirer on July 31, 2005, and used with permission. The opinions expressed by the Battle Creek Enquirer do not necessarily represent those of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.)
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is set to celebrate its 75th anniversary, kicking off a weekend of events with Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu and wrapping up with an outdoor concert and fireworks display.
The two-day special event, “A Tribute to Community,” will begin Friday evening when Tutu speaks to the community at Kellogg Arena. Tickets — which are no longer available — were free but required for the 7 p.m. public address.
The foundation intends to spotlight its grantees over the course of the weekend, with particular attention on the Battle Creek community.
“Battle Creek was a special place for Mr. Kellogg,” said Jim McHale, the foundation’s assistant vice president for local programming. “We wanted to really celebrate the people in his hometown — the people who keep the spirit and strength of his community alive.”
Besides Tutu’s address, the Friday night event will feature performances from the Boys Choir of Harlem, Battle Creek’s Sojourner Truth Choir and the Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra.
Saturday, the foundation will host an open house and ice cream social at its downtown Battle Creek headquarters from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Between 2,000 and 4,000 visitors are expected to tour the facility, which has not been open to the general public since it was built in 1991, said Karen Lake, spokeswoman for the foundation.
“I think people really want to know what goes on inside,” she said. “We hope they emerge having learned that.”
A self-guided tour will include eight stops on three floors of the building where visitors can learn about W.K. Kellogg as well as the foundation’s work in North America, South America and the Caribbean and southern Africa.
Seven foundation-funded Battle Creek projects also will be highlighted on the tour, which will end with ice cream and Froot Loops on the back lawn.
Tours of the Kellogg House, across the river from the foundation, also will be available.
A student-artist created comic book, “Everyday People Can Lead Extraordinary Lives,” will be the focus of an event to be held at the Art Center on Saturday.
The comic book, produced by the foundation, recently was released in Battle Creek and chronicles the life and work of W.K. Kellogg as well as 11 original stories promoting philanthropy and volunteerism.
Parts of the book will be incorporated into local Junior Achievement classroom programming.
The young artists responsible for the work will be on hand, leading hourly workshops on comic book storytelling from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Art Center will host a public reception from 5 to 7 p.m. featuring the student artists and their mentors. The art exhibit will run through Aug. 19.
Wrapping up with a bang, the foundation will host an outdoor concert Saturday evening at 8 p.m. It will feature performances from the Brass Band of Battle Creek as well as “American Idol” finalist LaToya London.
The concert, which is free and open to the public, will be at the Kellogg Community College soccer field.
Parking for the event opens at 7 p.m. and attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets and picnics. No alcohol, cameras or personal fireworks will be allowed.
The Brass Band — a foundation grantee — will perform from 8 to 9:30 p.m., London will perform at 9:45 p.m., followed by a fireworks display a dark.
A rain date is scheduled for Sunday evening, same time.