The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center proudly announces the 22th annual Swing into Spring, scheduled for Thursday, April 5th from 6-10 p.m. at The Atlantic Resort, 240 Aquidneck Ave., Middletown. The evening will feature music from DJ Shane Carvalho, dancing, a buffet dinner, live and silent auctions, and a cash bar. Tickets for the event are $100 in advance or $115 at the door and can be purchased by calling Heather Strout at (401) 846-4828 ext. 121, emailing or visiting

Swing is the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Our goal this year is to raise more than $150,000 to sustain and grow our Hunger Relief, Education, and Community programs that serve 3,000 children, adults, and seniors across Newport County each year.

“We’ve been blessed by a community that continues to step up again and again, and it’s hard to believe we’ve been doing this for 22 years,” said Marilyn Warren, Executive Director for the MLK Community Center in a prepared statement. “Whether it’s the hard-working family getting a meal from the food pantry or a three-year-old entering her first day of pre-school, we couldn’t provide the critical services we do without the support of our generous donors.”

The silent and live auctions will feature a wide range of items, including: Celtics tickets (in the owner’s box, dinner with the owner, and snacks during the game), Yacht Cruise with provisioning from Blackstone Catering, Marriott one-night stay and spa treatment, and much more!

For the first time ever, we are thrilled to celebrate Gail Lowney Alofsin as our Honorary Chair for this year’s Swing. Gail served on the MLK Community Center’s board from 2006 to 2016 and is someone who lives her passion every day. She is an internationally recognized speaker, author, career coach, mentor and university professor. Her programs are focused on coaching, mentoring and assisting others, especially women, in becoming their best selves.

Some key supporters for this year’s Swing into Spring include: Tulip Sponsors: BankNewport; Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island; Cosmed Group; Suzette Schochet, Richard J. Henken and the Schochet Companies. Lily Sponsors: Gail Alofsin and family; Bowen’s Wharf Company; Teri Degnan Real Estate & Consulting, Ltd.; Hyacinth Sponsors: Bazarsky Family Foundation; Bob and Rena DiMuccio; Kirby Perkins Construction; Steve and Zulekha Ludwig; Newport Harbor Corporation; Mike Nolan and Heather Hornbeck; Bart Dunbar and Lisa Lewis.

Since 1922, the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center has continued to evolve in providing a safe and nurturing environment for the changing needs of Newport County residents who seek nutritional, educational, and social supports to improve the quality of their lives.

For more information about the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center, please visit:

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

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In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.