The 11th Annual County Prayer Breakfast was graced with having President and CEO of Northlands, Mr. Richard Andersen, as main speaker at the event.
The 11th Annual County Prayer Breakfast opened with the beautiful harmonies of gospel group Renewed ringing through the Nisku Inn Ballroom as they led the crowd in O' Canada before launching into several more faith filled favourites over the course of the morning.
Leduc County Mayor John Whaley acknowledged and thanked the many different municipalities represented at the breakfast including the City and County of Leduc, Beaumont, Devon, Calmar, Warburg, the County of Wetaskiwin, and MP Blaine Calkins.
Stating that "We're here to give thanks for our abundant harvest and many Blessings in this region." Mayor Whaley then quoted William Blake by saying "The thankful receiver bears a plentiful harvest."
This led in to the introduction of the main speaker for the event, Mr. Richard Andersen. Richard has over 35 years of experience in professional sports team management, facility operations and development and currently serves as the President and CEO of Northlands in Edmonton. Amongst his many awards and accolades one of his proudest moments was in 2003 when Richard received the Gaslamp Quarter Association Lamplighter Award for Good Neighbour in Business.
He began his presentation by recounting the scene from the 1991 film City Slickers where Jack Palance's character Curly is talking to Billy Crystal's character Mitch, telling him about the most important thing in life. Curly says "Do you know what the secret of life is? (As he holds up one finger) One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don't mean sh!$." Mitch asks, "But what is the 'one thing'?" And Curly replies "That's what you have to find out."
Richard stated that he believes the same as celebrated author C.S. Lewis in that there is no such thing as an "ordinary" person. "Everybody is extraordinary. Everyone has a story. Just ask them."
He then went on to relate a life lesson that he learned while in his 30's. "Most of us chase material success. There is nothing wrong with that per se but when it becomes an end to a means life becomes very empty. When I realized I was doing that I sat down and did some serious self analyzing and I realized what I really wanted was significance. And that love matters. This is a gift that God gave us."
Richard continued on to say that every day every one of us has the opportunity to make a difference in someone else's life. "The amazing way God works is that he generally turns it around to be a Blessing for the giver as well."
In conclusion, Richard brought everything around to complete the circle by exhorting the audience to remember to focus on that "one thing".
As a thank you for his services Leduc County made a donation in Richard's name to the Zebra Child Protection Centre, an organization that works with children who have suffered abuse.
The morning came to a close with Mayor Whaley very briefly taking to the stage after Richard's presentation to simply say "I cannot top that. The message was right there. Thank you everyone for coming this morning!".