By Michael J. ARVIZU
The 2013 Crescenta Valley Prayer Breakfast will be held on May 21 beginning at 6:30 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in La Crescenta.
Organized by the Crescenta Valley Town Council, in conjunction with the Crescenta Valley High School PTSA, Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Clergy Council, and area churches, the focus of the second annual event is to pray for the area’s youth and to promote unity.
“It is important, because unity shows the strength in people,” said Crescenta Valley Town Council member and event founder and organizer Harry Leon.
For Leon, the prayer breakfast represents what can happen when a community decides to come together, regardless of cultural or religious differences. He hopes the event will be an example for communities in Los Angeles and throughout the United States.
“All communities in the U.S. should be [doing this],” Leon said.
The Crescenta Valley Prayer Breakfast will host clergy from various faiths, including speakers from the Baptist, Episcopal, Methodist and Mormon faiths and from churches serving various ethnicities including Korean congregations. It is aimed at praying for youth in the hopes that they “will make good decisions,” said Crescenta Valley Town Council Treasurer Danette Erickson.
“Our youth sometimes make bad choices, and we are praying that they make good choices as they go through the summer,” Erickson said.
To reflect that theme, Crescenta Valley High School history teacher and 2012 Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year James Smiley has been tapped to give this year’s keynote address, which he has titled, “Staying Focused in Your Life.”
Leon was inspired to begin a prayer breakfast for the Crescenta Valley after attending the Glendale Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast and seeing the various clergy and community members gathered.
Since the day of the breakfast falls on a staff development day for Crescenta Valley High School – on those days, school starts an hour later – Leon hopes students will take the opportunity to attend the event. To encourage them to attend, tickets are available at half price for students, Leon said.
“The adults have difficulties these days, because of hardships and social events,” said Leon. “But in the meantime, we should remember our youth and try to reach out to them as much as we can.”
The inaugural prayer breakfast in 2012 hosted roughly 300 people, including clergy from 12 churches, said Leon. It was held at Holy Redeemer Church in Montrose. It is hoped, Leon said, that a different church will host the prayer breakfast each year.
Admission to the prayer breakfast is $5 for students and $10 for adults. A continental breakfast, tea, juice and refreshments will be served.
For more information and to purchase tickets, call Leon at (818) 464-5870. Tickets can also be purchased at the LDS church at 4550 Raymond Ave. in La Crescenta.