Ocean City Today

Mooney to speak at Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, Jan. 12

By Kara Hallissey | Jan 04, 2018

(Jan. 5, 2018) Continuing the annual tradition, the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast will take place Friday, Jan. 12, from 8-10 a.m. at the Clarion Fontainebleau Hotel on 101st Street.

“We intend it to be a positive start to the new year,” Ocean City Chamber Event Director Lisa Layfield said. “It’s an inspiring way to begin the year with a story about inspiration, faith, hope and determination.”

This year’s keynote speaker is Victor Mooney, the first African-American to row across the Atlantic Ocean.

His trek launched from Maspalomas, Spain, on Feb. 19, 2014, and concluded at New York’s Brooklyn Bridge on Nov. 28, 2015, to raise awareness for AIDS after three prior failed attempts.

“Before he finished it, he was blown into Ocean City during a storm and had to hunker down his boat for a few days [Hurricane Joaquin in September 2015],” Layfield said. “He has quite an amazing and inspiring story and did this to bring awareness to HIV/AIDS. His brother died from the disease and his other bother is living with it. It is very important to him to raise awareness about testing and the number of people we have lost.”

In 2006, Mooney’s homemade boat lasted 30 minutes before the Senegalese Coast Guard had to pull him from the water, and in 2009 after his water systems failed, Mooney was rescued near Guinea-Bissau during his second attempt. Then in 2011, his boat took on water and Mooney was found in his life raft floating in the Atlantic Ocean after 14 days.

Three failed attempts and four boats later, Mooney finally completed his trek. His final journey included damage to his boat by a shark, losing 80 pounds and having no food for nearly 60 days.

“He is looking forward to coming and talking about the trip and his experiences along the way,” Layfield said. “It is a great way for the community to come together – residents, businesses, churches, educators and politicians. It is a unique opportunity and we are excited to have him.”

Mooney said his remarks during the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast will reflect on Psalm 91 and how God and his angels protect us so we are never alone.

“I am humbled and privileged to be asked to share a short message during this prestigious occasion,” Mooney said.

The Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce, the Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce, the Berlin Chamber of Commerce, the Snow Hill Chamber of Commerce and the Pocomoke Chamber of Commerce have come together to put on the event for the third consecutive year.

The prayer breakfast was organized by Bruce Spangler for 25 years before he stepped down.

The Mayor’s Breakfast, which will include a hot buffet, will be held at the Clarion Fontainebleau Hotel on 101st Street. Tickets cost $20 per person. Table sponsorships are also available.

Tickets can be purchased at the Ocean City Chamber Visitors Center in West Ocean City or online at chamber.oceancity.org.

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