Mark Stewart, executive director for Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries, during the 9th annual Dignity Breakfast. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Mark Stewart, executive director for Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries, during the 9th annual Dignity Breakfast. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Dignity Breakfast showcases stories of hope and resilience in Pitt Meadows

Several dignitaries attend the annual fundraising event

After a one-year gap, the annual Dignity Breakfast returned this year, and attendees were definitely delighted and grateful for this in-person fundraising event held at Sky Hangar in Pitt Meadows Wednesday.

The 9th annual Dignity Breakfast, held by the Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries on Nov. 24, saw several dignitaries from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows in attendance. Geared up for some good conversation, food and fundraising, the event also served dollops of hope.

The event started with executive director Mark Stewart welcoming everyone, a prayer and land acknowledgement from Coleen Pierre, speeches from Mayor Mike Morden and Councillor Michael Hayes, speeches from representatives of the local MLAs and MP, and then dove straight into what and who the Salvation Army represented.

Bethany Jane, now a case worker with the Salvation Army, had the audience in tears with her story of addiction, recovery and hope.

“Change is possible. I never chose to be an addict. I made the choice to take that first pill, but after that I had no choice anymore,” said Jane, who had gone through addiction, depression, recovery, relapse.

Despite coming from a happy, healthy family, Jane said she went on the path of addiction but also found the strength to recover.

“I hope I can be an example to individuals who are struggling; I hope they know that recovery is possible and the strength to fight is inside each one of you,” she said.

Jane’s story touched everyone, with attendees giving her a standing ovation.

Stories from the Keynote speaker for the event, Kristi Blakeway, who is the principal at Laity View Elementary in Maple Ridge, as well as the founder of the program Beyond Hello, also had the room listening with rapt attention.

Blakeway, who wrote the book “Beyond Hello”, also announced during the event that she would be giving 50 per cent per book sold to the Salvation Army, for the month of November.

ALSO READ: The bells will be ringing out for the Salvation Army Christmas kettle campaign this weekend

The event saw Ken Holland as the emcee and also had Major Sheldon Feener, the area commander BC South of the Salvation Army BC Division, give a small speech.

The Rotary Club of Haney presented a $10,000 cheque to the Salvation Army for their lunchbag program during the event.

A tally of the total amount raised through the fundraiser, will be available in the coming weeks.

ALSO READ: Salvation Army’s Dignity Breakfast event back after last year’s gap


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Peter Tam presented live music during the 9th annual Dignity Breakfast. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Peter Tam presented live music during the 9th annual Dignity Breakfast. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Salvation Army’s 9th Annual Dignity Breakfast saw several dignitaries from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows at the SKY Hangar. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Salvation Army’s 9th Annual Dignity Breakfast saw several dignitaries from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows at the SKY Hangar. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Ken Holland was the emcee for Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries’ 9th annual Dignity Breakfast. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Ken Holland was the emcee for Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries’ 9th annual Dignity Breakfast. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Ridge Meadows RCMP during the 9th annual Dignity Breakfast. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Ridge Meadows RCMP during the 9th annual Dignity Breakfast. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Councillor Michael Hayes, speaking on behalf of Mayor Bill Dingwall and Pitt Meadows council during the 9th annual Dignity Breakfast. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Councillor Michael Hayes, speaking on behalf of Mayor Bill Dingwall and Pitt Meadows council during the 9th annual Dignity Breakfast. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden speaking during the 9th annual Dignity Breakfast. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Maple Ridge Mayor Mike Morden speaking during the 9th annual Dignity Breakfast. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Bethany Jane, sharing her story of resilience and hope with those in attendance at the 9th annual Dignity Breakfast. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)
Bethany Jane, sharing her story of resilience and hope with those in attendance at the 9th annual Dignity Breakfast. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Bethany Jane, sharing her story of resilience and hope with those in attendance at the 9th annual Dignity Breakfast. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News) Bethany Jane, sharing her story of resilience and hope with those in attendance at the 9th annual Dignity Breakfast. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Pastor Dave King said grace during the 9th annual Dignity Breakfast. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Salvation Army’s 9th Annual Dignity Breakfast saw several dignitaries from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows at the SKY Hangar. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Salvation Army’s 9th Annual Dignity Breakfast saw several dignitaries from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows at the SKY Hangar. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Salvation Army’s 9th Annual Dignity Breakfast saw several dignitaries from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows at the SKY Hangar. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Salvation Army’s 9th Annual Dignity Breakfast saw several dignitaries from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows at the SKY Hangar. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Salvation Army's 9th Annual Dignity Breakfast saw several dignitaries from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows including the Mayor and council for Maple Ridge, at the SKY Hangar. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Salvation Army's 9th Annual Dignity Breakfast saw several dignitaries from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows including the Mayor and council for Pitt Meadows, at the SKY Hangar. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Salvation Army’s 9th Annual Dignity Breakfast saw several dignitaries from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows at the SKY Hangar. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)
Salvation Army’s 9th Annual Dignity Breakfast saw several dignitaries from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows at the SKY Hangar. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Salvation Army’s 9th Annual Dignity Breakfast saw several dignitaries from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows at the SKY Hangar. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News) Salvation Army’s 9th Annual Dignity Breakfast saw several dignitaries from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows at the SKY Hangar. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Salvation Army’s 9th Annual Dignity Breakfast saw several dignitaries from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows at the SKY Hangar. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Salvation Army’s 9th Annual Dignity Breakfast saw several dignitaries from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows at the SKY Hangar. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Mark Stewart, executive director for Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries, during the 9th annual Dignity Breakfast. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Amelia Norrie, media and fundraising coordinator for Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries, during the 9th annual Dignity Breakfast. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Salvation Army’s 9th Annual Dignity Breakfast saw several dignitaries from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows at the SKY Hangar. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Salvation Army’s 9th Annual Dignity Breakfast saw several dignitaries from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows at the SKY Hangar. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Kristi Blakeway of Beyond Hello was the keynote speaker during the 9th annual Dignity Breakfast. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Kristi Blakeway of Beyond Hello was the keynote speaker during the 9th annual Dignity Breakfast. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Rotary club of Haney presented the Salvation Army with a $10,000 cheque during the 9th annual Dignity Breakfast. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Kristi Blakeway of Beyond Hello was the keynote speaker during the 9th annual Dignity Breakfast. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)

Kristi Blakeway of Beyond Hello was the keynote speaker during the 9th annual Dignity Breakfast. (Priyanka Ketkar/The News)