Joining Together for Annual Prayer Breakfast

Photo by Charly SHELTON
Prayer Breakfast committee members (from left) Harry Leon, Dena Blood (with son Charlie), Mary O’Keefe, Jo Ann Stupakis, Jodi Gunski and Danette Erickson (not pictured Arick Gevorkian) are preparing for the eighth Annual Prayer Breakfast taking place on March 2 at CV United Methodist Church.

Faith leaders and community supporters gather for a morning focused on local youth.



It’s time for pancakes, peacekeeping and prayer – all found at the Annual Prayer Breakfast.

“The Prayer Breakfast has always been about the youth in our community and that’s what we emphasize – their well-being and their contributions to the community,” said Harry Leon, president of the Crescenta Valley Town Council and co-chair of the Prayer Breakfast. “As parents, we should listen to [our kids]. They have more stress than we had in our time. We have a lot to learn from them because our time was totally different and life was easier. Now it’s more complicated. [We need to] listen to what they go through. So many of them keep it in their hearts and won’t communicate. I think we should try, as parents, to have an open freeway of communication between our kids and the [larger body of] youth of the community so we can take care of problems as they come, not wait until it’s too late.”

The Prayer Breakfast was established during a time when the youth of the community were especially in need of help and guidance. With issues of drugs, bullying and even a public suicide at a school, the youngest members of the community could find solace and partnership with the adults through events like the Prayer Breakfast, now in its eighth year.

“Our keynote speaker is Linda Evans, our past principal of Crescenta Valley High School. She mentored a lot of kids [in her time at the school] and I think she’s the exact person we need to talk about kids,” Leon said. Evans will be speaking on “Building Resilience.”

In addition to its focus on youth, the Prayer Breakfast brings community members together, regardless of religion, to work together for the betterment of everyone. Local businesses like Byblos and Super King, as well as local residents and congregations, have donated resources, time and money to make this breakfast happen each year. Any money raised at the event will be put into scholarships for high school seniors awarded by CVTC at the end of the school year, or donated to local youth aid organizations like Prom Plus and The Firehouse.

“Our community is well known as being very close-knit and we want it to continue that way. We also want to be a community that reaches out quickly to each other,” Leon said.

The Prayer Breakfast will be held on Saturday, March 2 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. (doors open at 8 a.m.) at Crescenta Valley United Methodist Church, 2700 Montrose Ave. in Montrose. Tickets are a $10 donation for adults, free for students. Presale tickets are available at various venues in the Crescenta Valley and at the door.

For more information, call Harry Leon at (818) 464-5870 or fellow Prayer Breakfast co-chair Jo Ann Stupakis at (818) 269-3295.