The Sedalia Kiwanis Club will host its annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast this week and members are inviting the public to help honor youth in the community.
Themes are always centered around children since that is the Kiwanis Club’s main philanthropy focus. This year’s theme is “Empowering Families at Risk.” Kiwanis Club President Bob Milner said the event started to honor the late Mayor Bob Wasson, and since that time former Mayor Elaine Horn and Mayor Stephen Galliher have both participated.
“Nine years ago, our late Mayor Bob Wasson, who had been mayor for a number of years, was battling cancer and after he finished up his first round of surgeries we wanted to do something to commemorate him,” Milner said. “Bob was also an ordained Baptist minister and believed in the power of prayer in what he was going through. (Kiwanis member) Judy (Ebers) had the idea to have a prayer breakfast and dedicate it to him, which we did. … We decided to keep going on this every year since this time.”
Members of several local churches will be involved with the event. Invocation will be given by Elle Wasson Duggan, Jon Church, pastor of Katy Park Baptist Church, will give the prayer for the community, Father Mark Miller, of Sacred Heart Catholic Church, will give the prayer for government, Duane Duchesne, pastor of New Hope Baptist Church, will give the blessing of youth, Jim Downing, pastor of First United Methodist Church, will give closing remarks, and Ben Embree, of Liberty Life Church, will provide two songs.
Galliher will also speak, and the featured guest speaker is Gary Smith, pastor of Liberty Life Church and owner of The Shepherd’s Place in downtown Sedalia.
“We’re praying for the government, we’re praying for families, we’re blessing the youth of our community,” Ebers said. “We feel like by acknowledging the young people we do who have stepped up and are meeting the challenge of being a Christian in this world today, it’s tough. I feel like it takes a lot to be an example of what you have to be to have character and honesty and integrity and we feel like it’s important to encourage that.”
“The negatives are always brought out in the media and everything else about the bad things kids are doing sometimes and although that does happen, there are a lot of good kids doing good things not only for themselves but for their churches, their schools, families and the community,” Milner added. “We need to look at those things and let people know they exist out there.”
Kiwanis will recognize nine youth in the Sedalia church community who have been nominated by their pastor for showing “exemplary leadership” in their church and community.
Two $500 William A. Schien Scholarships will also be awarded to local high school seniors.
“Bill Schien is a former Kiwanian who passed away about 10 years ago, and when he did his family donated money to allow us to give a $500 scholarship and we’ve kept it going,” Milner said. “We raise money every year and some of the money is put toward that. We usually give one, but this year one of Bill’s relatives gave us $500 so we were able to give two this year.”
Breakfast will include biscuits and gravy donated by Hardee’s and other items provided by Kiwanis.
The Sedalia Kiwanis Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at Christ and Trinity Lutheran Church, 201 Southwest Blvd. in Sedalia. The event is free and open to the public.
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or @NicoleRCooke.