Out & About: Westmoreland County prayer breakfast stresses core values

Feb. 5—"Love, Listen, Learn and Lead" was the theme of the Westmoreland County Chamber Annual Prayer Breakfast, held Jan. 27 at Ferrante's Lakeview in Hempfield.

Those values were separately explored in a series of spiritual readings.

"Love" was covered by Heather McLean, outreach coordinator for Mental Health America of Southwestern PA; "Listen" by Carmen Capozzi, founder of Sage's Army Inc.; "Learn" by Mark Valozzi, admissions representative of Laurel Highlands Workforce & Opportunity Center; and "Lead" by Stephanie Babich Mihleder, executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Laurel Region.

Founded in 1976, the event brings together leaders and representatives of the business, nonprofit and educational sectors of the community, along with students from county public and private schools.

More than 350 attendees heard motivational speaker Faerie Grace of New Alexandria expound further on the topic, adding a light touch to the message with a balloon-tying demonstration and water trick.

Her goal, she said, was "to inspire the audience to not only understand, but also to activate and go into the community to implement (the theme)."

Derry Area High School senior Elizabeth Kott sang the national anthem.

Irwin Male Chorus, under the direction of Forrest Moore, sang several selections, ending with "Let There Be Peace on Earth," which ends with the line, "and let it begin with me."

Chamber President Dan DeBone gave a welcome, and Janet Ward provided the benediction. Jim Graham served as master of ceremonies.

Also participating were members of VFW Post 33, Boy Scout Troop 416 and Girl Scout Troop 27099, all of Greensburg.

Breakfast committee members included Jim Bendel, Vince Zaccaria, Michelle DeLuca, Walt Henry, Beeghly & Co. Jewelers and Excela Health, also the event sponsor.

Seen: Chad Amond, former chamber president, along with John Sphon, Patti Buhl, Dr. Carol Fox, Chuck Carr, Dave Wagner, Jennifer Miller, Alex Novickoff, Darcy Szymkiewicz, Michael Choby, Jason Lohr, Teri Smith, Deborah Thackrah, Shujuane Martin, Michel Keller, Rose McKay, Mitchell Samick, Ed and Nancy McKinnon, Ann Nemanic, Jessica Petrovich and Annie Urban.

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Shirley by email at smcmarlin@triblive.com or via Twitter .