This year’s annual Turlock Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast will be a morning of “giant” proportions, as the city will welcome former San Francisco Giants players Jeremy Affeldt and Dave Dravecky for a morning of prayer, reflection and unity.
Since 1994, Turlock residents have gathered under one roof to pray for the city’s wellbeing as part of the Prayer Breakfast – something that is needed especially during these times when the nation seems more divided than ever, said committee member Jim Madsen.
“It’s not hard to see there’s a lot of division right now in our world and in our community, and to have the opportunity to come together as a community and pray is really significant,” said Madsen. “It doesn’t matter where you stand politically. Race, religion, creed – none of that matters when you walk through the door.”
Helping to bond the community by sharing his experience will be three-time World Series champion Affeldt, a former pitcher in the Giants organization. As a member of the Giants’ “core four” pitching staff, Affeldt was a fan favorite during his seven years on the Giants before retiring in 2015. Although he was a key contributor to each of the Giants’ World Series wins, he is known for his impact on communities off the field as well.
He is a strong and vocal advocate against human trafficking and serves as an ambassador for the anti-slavery organization Not For Sale, which mobilizes activists to abolish slavery and fight human trafficking through a variety of grassroots initiatives. Affeldt also helps to mentor and motivate homeless and at-risk youth through Larkin Street Youth Services and runs his own non-profit, Generation Alive, which helps youth learn to live compassionately through acts of service.
On top of his community service, Affeldt has always been outspoken about his Christian faith during his time in the Major Leagues, said Madsen.
“He’ll be talking about his journey through baseball and where he’s been, where he’s going and what he’s come through, and how his relationship with Christ has brought him through those things,” said Madsen.
In addition to welcoming Affeldt, another former Giants player, Dave Dravecky, will serve as the event’s Master of Ceremonies. Dravecky, a pitcher who lost his arm to cancer, served as a speaker for the Prayer Breakfast in 1998. Speakers at the prayer breakfast are often those who have relied on the power of prayer to overcome hurdles in their lives, from Dravecky to last year’s speaker Genelle Guzman-McMillan, the last person pulled alive from the World Trade Center following the Sept. 11 attack.
Turlock is full of Giants fans, said Madsen, making this year’s breakfast featuring Affeldt and Dravecky all the more special.
“We always have a great response when it comes to sports figures,” he said. “Here in the Valley it’s a big part of our lives, so we’re excited to have them here and for what the morning holds.”
Mayor Gary Soiseth will lead the 24th annual prayer breakfast, held at 6:15 a.m. on March 3 at the Assyrian American Civic Club, 1618 N. Golden State Blvd.
Tickets can be purchased for $25 at any of the following locations: The Salvation Army, Geiger’s Fine Jewelers, Canal Veterinary Hospital, La Mo Café and Restaurant, Majesty Bible and Gifts and the Hilmar Cheese Visitor Center. For more information, visit www.turlockprayerbreakfast.com.