By: Peter Madrid
I have attended many “inaugural events” in my life, but none have had the impact I felt at the first Valley Partnership Inspirational Breakfast to benefit the 2015 Community Project.
This year Valley Partnership selected the Florence Crittenton Girls Ranch in Scottsdale as the community project recipient. The breakfast was held in the cafeteria at the group’s headquarters in Midtown Phoenix.
After the girls that Florence Crittenton serves scurried off to school after eating a breakfast provided for them, the room was transformed into a place of inspiration and storytelling. Those who spoke did so from the heart. They talked of overcoming obstacles and in some cases, just getting through life itself. But there always was one central theme: the ability to triumph.
Amber, 13, a resident at Florence Crittenton, triumphed over a troubled early youth. Sarah Morales, who found strength through faith to care for herself and her daughter, triumphed. Rose Mapendo, the keynote speaker, triumphed over what she referred to as true evil.
Rose spent 16 months at a death camp in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. When she spoke about being pregnant, and delivering twins with nothing more than a concrete floor beneath her, you could hear a pin drop. She held back tears as she spoke of the horrors she and her family endured, including the killing of her husband.
Other inspirational speakers were Dr. Kellie Warren, CEO of Florence Crittenton; Kim Kleski, Olsson Associates, who shared the site plan for the Nov. 7 event; and Cheryl Lombard, President and CEO of Valley Partnership. Ty Lusk, a friend of Valley Partnership, performed a song. Steph Martini, a business and real estate coach, documented the event with graphic drawings.
“You are all here for a purpose,” said Dena Jones, one of the main architects of the breakfast and Community Project chair.
Inspiring words, Dena.
Peter Madrid is Communications Specialist for Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona, and a member of the Valley Partnership Community Project and Communications committees.