Sunday, December 2, 2007

QGI Honored at Interfaith Prayer Breakfast

The Quesada Gardens Initiative received a Models of Hope Award from the San Francisco Interfaith Council at the annual Mayor's Prayer Breakfast on November 20th.

James Ross and Jeffrey Betcher, shown here, received the award before a packed Ballroom at the Cathedral Hill Hotel where hundreds of religious leaders joined together to celebrate common values and community achievements.

"It is a special honor," said Betcher, "to receive an award from the Interfaith Council as the group is such a diverse community of communities, much like the Bayview."

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome talked about the root causes of violence, emphasizing the issue of poverty as needing our most focused attention. He highlighted the importance of positive responses, like the Quesada Gardens' strategy, noting Mother Theresa's adage: "Don't invite me to an anti-war rally, invite me to a peace rally."

Michael Pappas, the Council's new executive director, was introduced at a smaller prayer breakfast in October when Quesada Gardens' representatives spoke about their community-based work. The more recent award event broadened his introduction, as he embarks on what he calls "a listening campaign" to strengthen the already vibrant Council from the grassroots up.

All of the Bayview residents who make up the Quesada Gardens Initiative are proud of the progress we have made in our community, and are grateful to the San Francisco Interfaith Council for its recognition and support. We congratulate the other awardees who each have made tremendous contributions to the life and spirit of San Francisco.

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