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(Dec. 27, 2019) The Ocean City Chamber of Commerce’s 2020 Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast is all about optimism.

“The purpose of it is really to bring the community together and to start the year on a positive note and with a positive message,” Chamber Events Director Lisa Layfield said. 

The event will be hosted in the Crystal Ballroom of the Clarion Resort Fontainebleau Hotel on 101st Street on Jan. 10, at 7 a.m.

Former Major League Baseball star, author and motivational speaker, Darryl Strawberry — most recognized for his time with the New York Mets and Yankees —will be this year’s keynote speaker. 

Tickets cost $20 per person, $100 for open seating sponsors and $300 for a sponsor table. 

This year’s sponsors are Bayshore Development/Jolly Roger Amusements, Bank of Ocean City, Farmers Bank of Willards, Mountaire Farms, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Ocean Pines Chamber of Commerce, Delmarva Shorebirds and Ocean City Development Corporation. 

There is no deadline for tickets, but guests are encouraged to purchase one as soon as possible, as the chamber has already sold half of its 400 or so tickets for the event. 

Layfield said the event was started 30 years ago by Bruce Spangler. 

On the event’s 25th anniversary, Spangler decided it was time to put an end to the prayer breakfast, and hosted what was, at the time, the final one. 

This shocked community members, who rallied together and loudly voiced their desire for the event to be revived and maintained, Layfield said. 

Thus, the chamber of commerce took reign and brought the event back for 2016. 

Last year’s speaker was former National Football League placekicker David Akers, who played for the Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions. 

This year’s theme seems to be resilience. 

“Darryl just has an incredible story,” Layfield said. “Especially in the day and time that we’re living … everyone in some way, shape, or form is touched by [drug] addiction.” 

Strawberry, who battled drug addiction, and has since written a book about his struggle with substance abuse and travels nationwide to share his testimony. 

Layfield said she is excited for this year’s event, as it always proves to be a great way to gather all sections of Ocean City’s community together to celebrate the new year. 

“It really is a great mix of our community, and I think it’s fantastic that we are able to start the year off with all of them [community members] together,” Layfield said.  

For more information or to register for the event, visit https://chamber.oceancity.org/events/details/2020-mayors-prayer-breakfast-guest-speaker-darryl-strawberry-30705?range=365

Josh covers everything Ocean City government and crime. He graduated from the University of Richmond in 2019 with a B.A. in French and Journalism.

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