Mayor's Prayer Breakfast


18th Annual YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg


Rise & Shine

Held October 29, 2019

at the Coliseum

Keynote Speaker Sonia Manzano


Sonia Manzano


Presenting Sponsor

Speer Foundation

Breakfast Sponsor

Go to Steves / 400 Beach

Title Sponsor

James S. Henderson / USI Insurance Services

Gold Sponsor

Salem Media

Silver Sponsors

Bridgepoint Church
Chick-fil-A - Fourth Street North
Industrial Strength
Mahaffey Apartment Company
Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
RBC Wealth Management and Green, Henwood & Hough
Sabal Trust
St. Anthony's Hospital - BayCare

Bronze Sponsors

CBIZ MHM, LLC - Tampa Bay
Hancock Whitney Bank
Pilot Bank
Republic Bank

Copper Sponsors

Abbey, Adams, Byelick & Mueller, LLC
Amley-McEntire Orthodontics
Bank of Tampa Pinellas County
Bond Thomas Chiropractic
Brett Funeral Home
Diocese of St. Petersburg
Directed Capital Resources
Freedom Bank
Frey | Masterson Investment Advisors
Harvard Jolly Architecture
Lightning Print
National Council of Negro Women, Inc.
Pinellas Education Foundation
Suncoast Hospice - Empath Health
Wannemacher Jensen Architects, Inc.
Madiera Group - Morgan Stanley

All Access Properties/Susan Jezek
Mary Evertz & David Cox
Mr. & Mrs. Andrew H. Hines, Jr.
St. Thomas Episcopal Church
Marilyn D. Underberg


2019 Prayer Leaders

The following individuals led a prayer or invocation during this year's breakfast.

Col. Jesse Abbott, U.S. Central Command
Rev. Joyce J. Moore
, St. Petersburg District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
Pastor Angel Marcial, Vida Nueva St. Pete
Fr. Alex Padilla
, The Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle
Rev. Libby Shannon, Presbytery of Tampa Bay
Rabbi Philip Weintraub
, Congregation B'nai Israel


2019 Keynote Speaker

A first generation American of Latin descent, Manzano’s tale is one of perseverance and courage as she overcame countless obstacles to become one of the most influential Latinas in television.

Manzano was raised in the South Bronx, where her involvement in the arts was inspired by teachers who encouraged her to audition for the High School of Performing Arts. She was accepted there and began her career as an actress. A scholarship took her to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, and in her junior year, she came to New York to star in the original production of the off-Broadway show Godspell. Within a year, Manzano joined the production of Sesame Street, where she eventually began writing scripts for the series. She was thrilled to help write the story line for “Maria’s” marriage and birth of “Maria’s” baby, played for a short time by Manzano’s real-life daughter Gabriela.

Manzano’s latest books are her memoir, Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx (Scholastic), and a Christmas picture book, Miracle on 133rd Street (Simon & Schuster).

Becoming Maria was praised by Kirkus Reviews for its “lyrical and unflinching account of her tough Nuyorican upbringing in the South Bronx,” and calls it a “touching memoir.” Kirkus Reviews says “Manzano lovingly details life-changing moments,” with a “stark and heartbreaking contrast to her Sesame Street character.”

A staunch advocate for education, Manzano shares her extraordinary talent to help children to succeed. A fearless trailblazer, Manzano opened the doors for Latinas on screen. Infusing humor and charm into her presentations, Manzano inspires audiences with her passion, strength and insight into success. Whether speaking out for literacy, diversity, or addressing the issues children face in our media-saturated life, she is a familiar, engaging voice that brings new light to her roles and to our lives.


About the Event

Since 2001, the annual YMCA Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast has offered an opportunity for all community members to gather and reflect on important issues, challenges and commonalities. This unique event provides a venue for the community to share a meal and develop stronger, more unified relationships.

Past Keynote Speakers

2002 Lee Roy Selmon
2003 Chuck Colson
2004 Jim Towey
2005 Truett Cathy
2006 Alistair Begg
2007 Chip Ingram
2008 Mark Merrill
2009 Dr. Michael Youssef
2010 Edward Flom
2011 Lorraine Yaslowitz
2012 Bob & Pam Tebow
2013 Gigi Graham
2014 Rick Kriseman
2015 Nicole C. Mullen
2016 Lucille O'Neal
2017 Edie Lutnick
2018 Dr. Rick Rigsby
2019 Sonia Manzano

Chester James Award Winners

2002 Rex Almquist
2003 Elder Clarence Welch
2004 Andrew H. Hines, Jr.
2005 William R. Hough
2006 Stan Brandimore
2007 Virginia B. Irving
2008 Emmanuel Stewart
2009 Rick Baker
2010 David & Theresa McEachern
2011 J. Howard Hinesly
2012 David J. Fischer
2013 William G. Tapp
2014 Robert L. Ulrich
2015 Deacon Lionel Roberts
2016 Robert P. Byelick
2017 Mary Brandes
2018 Joseph H. Lang
2019 Dr. James P. Gills & Mrs. Heather Gills





Interested in sponsoring this event? 
Contact Emily Conklin, Annual Giving Director,
at or 727.895.9622 ext. 4017.


Please note that a copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the division of consumer services by calling toll-free within the state (1-800-435-7352). Registration does not imply endorsement, approval or recommendation by the state. Please refer to registration #CH2079. A professional solicitor has not been retained and the organization receives 100% of your contribution.