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Famed pretzel tycoon to headline prayer breakfast
Anne Beiler
Auntie Anne’s Pretzels founder Anne Beiler will be the keynote speaker at the 2019 Turlock Prayer Breakfast set for May 3 (Photo contributed).

The 2019 Turlock Prayer Breakfast will include a unique “twist,” inviting the community to come together under one roof to eat, pray and hear the testimony of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels founder Anne Beiler.

Until this year, the annual breakfast was known as the Turlock Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast. The committee decided to remove the word “mayor” from the title, member Jim Madsen said, as Turlock residents often confused the event as a City-sponsored gathering. Other cities that host a prayer breakfast typically don’t include “mayor” in the event’s name, he added.

“People would always ask me why City money was being spent on a prayer event, so it just made sense for clarity’s sake to change it,” Madsen said. “There will be no change in the program at all, and Mayor (Amy) Bublak will still participate just as all of the mayors have participated for the past 25 years.”

Since 1994, the annual prayer breakfast has served as a place where local residents can pray for local government leaders, public safety officials, the city’s youth and both Turlock and the nation as a whole. Over the years, it has grown to mean something special to the community members who attend year after year.

“In a world with a lot of division, we can come together as a community and pray,” Madsen said. “I hope people will see that as a good thing.”

Speakers at the prayer breakfast are often those who have relied on the power of prayer to overcome crisis, from former Major League Baseball pitcher Dave Dravecky, who lost his arm to cancer, to Genelle Guzman-McMillan, the last person pulled alive from the World Trade Center following the 9/11 attacks.

“We invite people who have seen the power of prayer in their own life and whose message is one of hope and one of encouragement,” Madsen said.

This year’s prayer breakfast will welcome keynote speaker Beiler, who grew her business from a single farmer’s market stand in 1987 into Auntie Anne’s Inc. — the world’s largest hand-rolled soft pretzel franchise. Her amazing professional success, however, was forged after years of depression and despair, brought on by tragedy in her life.

In 2005, Beiler sold Auntie Anne’s and authored her own book, sharing her inspirational message with audiences around the world. She’s launching a new organization, Broken Silence, meant to help women find their voice and break free from secrets that keep them stuck in pain, blame and shame.

“She has gone through some horrible tragedies, and God has brought her through them and made her stronger,” Madsen said. “It’s going to be a very encouraging and uplifting morning.”

Madsen also pointed out that coincidentally, the morning will be one that not only celebrates the power of prayer, but also the power of women. Beiler’s personal story and business insight have earned her the title of Entrepreneur of the Year by “Inc. Magazine,” and she will be under the same roof at the prayer breakfast as Turlock’s first female mayor, Bublak, who will lead the gathering in prayer.

“That’s pretty significant to have those two involved in the program,” Madsen said.

The 26th annual Turlock Prayer Breakfast will take place from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. May 3 at the Larsa Hall, 2107 E. Monte Vista Ave. in Denair. Tickets and table sponsorships will be available to purchase in Turlock beginning Tuesday from a variety of locations, including Geiger’s Fine Jewelers, Canal Veterinary Hospital, LaMo Coffee House, LaMo Restaurant and Majesty Bible & Gifts, as well as online at