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Nov. 11 Prayer Breakfast 'all about community'

The Cottage Grove area's third annual prayer breakfast will take place from 6:45 to 8:45 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11, at Mississippi Dunes Golf Course, 10351 Grey Cloud Trail, Cottage Grove. This year's theme is, "A Tribute to the Community."

Everyone is invited. Tickets are $20 per person and reservations are due by Wednesday, Nov. 5. For details, call (651) 458-5565.

Patterned after the National Prayer Breakfast held annually in Washington, D.C., the Cottage Grove area breakfast is designed to "bring the community together as Americans, to celebrate our freedoms and honor those who serve our community and country," said Lee Begnaud. Lee and her husband, Kent, live in St. Paul Park, and are serving as co-chairs for the breakfast.

"We will take this time to honor and pray for educators, government and business leaders, our military forces and local police and fire departments," Lee Begnaud said. "Our guest speakers will bring their own true life inspirational stories to encourage everyone.

"It's about the community and nothing else," she said. "We need a little good news with the country as it is these days."

Keynote speaker Jay Coughlan is chair and chief executive officer of XATA and formerly president and CEO of Lawson Software. In 1998, after a day of hunting with his father and too many drinks, Coughlan hit a train at 60 miles per hour. The accident killed his father. Coughlan will talk about his life after the accident and his faith-based recovery.

Breakfast will begin with an invocation by Pastor John Magee of Light the Way Church in Cottage Grove, and St. Paul Park American Legion Commander Dick Drude will lead guests in the pledge of allegiance.

Cottage Grove businesswoman and former Cottage Grove Area Chamber of Commerce president Mary Slusser will serve as master of ceremonies. Recording artist Ann Bordonaro will perform the national anthem.

Speakers will include District 833 Superintendent Tom Nelson; Efe Agbamu, Park High School principal; State Rep. Karla Bigham; Cottage Grove Area Chamber of Commerce president Rhonda Mann; and representatives from south Washington County cities, police and fire departments and U.S. military.

Michelle Rageth, director of the Friends in Need Food Shelf, St. Paul Park, will give an update on services provided by the food shelf, and will accept cash and nonperishable food donations.

"It's a great event to draw and unite the community," Lee Begnaud said. "It's always so awesome to see the National Guard present and honor our veterans and our police and fire personnel especially during wartime. I love being a part of this community and a part of this great event."

Sponsorships for the breakfast are still being accepted. They can range from $50 for individuals to $100 or more from businesses. For details, call Jill at (651) 269-8873.

Toni Lambert can be reached at