Mayors Prayer Breakfast draws crowd

By Lisa Yates @Lisa_editor

Speaking to an audience of more than 550 at the Mayor's Prayer Breakfast, Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux promoted community building. His remarks followed the keynote address which was given by guest speaker Colonel Mike Edmonson, Superintendent of the Louisiana State Police.

Edmonston was recently elected to an international leadership position as the General Chair of the Division of State and Provincial Police at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference in San Diego.

The breakfast, held Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the Civic Center is in its 26th year and, according to its founder La. State Rep. Johnny Berthelot, R-88, "Brings all faiths together and reminds us to put God first in our lives."

Berthelot, the former mayor of Gonzales, said he conceived the idea after attending a Mayor's Breakfast in Baker, as guest of Mayor Heine. He decided to host one in Gonzales. Since then the event has grown into one of the city's most important community events.

"It's one of the few events where everybody leaves feeling good," he said. "Everyone leaving here today is smiling."

In addition to its founder, this year's event drew City Council members Kirk Boudreaux, John Cagnolatti, Terance Irvin, Kenneth Matassa and Ronald Waguespack; Chief of Police Sherman Jackson; and, Fire Chief Tracey Norman. Judge Guy Holdridge gave the welcoming address. Father Gary Belsome of St. Theresa Catholic Church in Gonzales gave the invocation; and, Sister Diedra Carter of I Walk by Faith Ministry in Gonzales gave the benediction. Tiera Williams sang the National Anthem; and, students from East Ascension, St. Amant and Dutchtown Choirs provided the music.

Sharon Morris, a member of the organizing committee, said the event was a huge success.

"I've been a committee member for four years now," she said. "I enjoy working on the Prayer Breakfast and serving my community. Every year we have a wonderful turnout."

She said other members of the organizing committee included: Randall Aldridge, Sandra Alleman, Betty Arceneaux, Lisa Babin, Blanchard Braud, Phayne Braud, Bonnie Braud, Martha Collins, Wendy Daigle, Sandy Dardeau, Donna Duplessis, Frank Cagnolatti, Sharon Girouard, Guy Holdridge, Kenny Matassa, Suzanne Patterson, Judy Petite and Pat Russo.

Clarion Inn of Gonzales provided the breakfast, which was served by volunteers from the Rotary Club of East Ascension, and the Gonzales Rotary Club.

A long time resident of Gonzales, said she attended because it is one of the most positive events in the community.

"You leave with more than you came in with," she said.