A capacity crowd gathered at the Lamplighter Inn in London, Ont., on Thursday, November 14th for the second annual Hope in the City Breakfast.

Prelude music was provided by a brass ensemble from London Citadel who treated the guests to a selection of Christmas carols. Majors Gary and Marion Venables (retired) offered a vocal duet entitled "One Small Child" during the program as well.

Following her words of welcome to those gathered for the event, Major Pat Phinney, Divisional Secretary for Public Relations and Development, introduced the Master of Ceremonies - Retired Police Chief Murray Faulkner who is also the 2013 London Kettle Champion.

City Councillor Harold Usher, who has a rich history with The Salvation Army in his home country of Belize, brought greetings from the City of London.

Special speaker for the occasion was Stephen Lewis, one of Canada's most influential commentators on social affairs, international development and human rights. Mr. Lewis engaged the audience with his remarkable command of the English language and shared from his vast international humanitarian experiences.  He consistently referenced the work of The Salvation Army that he has witnessed, both in Canada and abroad, as being an integral part of the solution to world poverty and its related social issues.  He shared heart wrenching stories and staggering statistics reflecting the scourge of social injustice and declared that behind every statistic is a "human face."  Mr. Lewis reminded those present that The Salvation Army offers hope and dignity to thousands of such individuals each and every day.

Major Morris Vincent, Divisional Commander, thanked Mr. Lewis for his thought-provoking address and challenged the business leaders in attendance to consider supporting the work of The Salvation Army so that together "we can bring hope to the city of London."  He assured them that they would see a good return on their investment given that $0.86 of every dollar received by The Salvation Army is invested in programs and services.  Major Vincent offered a Christmas blessing to close the 2013 Hope in the City Breakfast.


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