As Westerville celebrates the National Day of Prayer Thursday, May 2, participants in the annual Westerville Community Prayer Breakfast will celebrate Westerville's youth.
The prayer breakfast, which will be from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. May 2 in the Westerville Community Center, 350 N. Cleveland Ave., will honor the "Giving Generation."
The breakfast, organized by the Westerville Area Resource Ministry, will recognize youth in the community who volunteer, gather donations and give to WARM.
"Over the years, we've had a number of students come to us wanting to conduct food drives, for birthday parties rather than having gifts, having them give money to WARM," said Cheryl Wooten, WARM development and communications manager.
"They really have resonated with this giving back, and they really have shown this generation to (be) giving back," she said.
Last year, approximately 400 children, from preschool through high school, volunteered 550 hours through various service projects, Wooten said.
Students -- from scouting troops to sports teams to school clubs to individuals -- donated 30,219 pounds of food.
It's important to stop and recognize all that the community's youth does to give back, Wooten said.
The giving youth of the community will be recognized at the breakfast through a PowerPoint presentation, placemats drawn by Emerson and Hanby magnet school students and in the address given by keynote speaker Jim Augspurger, Grace Polaris Church executive pastor.
"They're the next generation," Wooten said. "They're the ones who are going to carry forward."
"They're the ones who are going to pick up the mantle in the years to come," she said. "I think it's important not only to take from them, but to recognize and to thank them."
Tickets to the prayer breakfast are $25 each. The event can accommodate about 250 people and generally sells out, Wooten said.
The breakfast, in its 11th year, serves as a fundraiser for WARM and allows the community to celebrate the National Day of Prayer, Wooten said.
"Even though we produce it, host it and benefit from it, it really has been a nod to what has been happening in the Westerville community for the last year," she said.
"It's a celebration of faith and how we do life together in the community," Wooten said.
"It truly engages the entire community. It's time to step back and celebrate the things that bring us together and not pull us apart."
For more information about the prayer breakfast, call WARM at 614-899-1096.