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The original item was published from 10/20/2021 11:25:18 AM to 11/21/2021 12:00:00 AM.

News Flash


Posted on: October 20, 2021

[ARCHIVED] County Executive Neuhaus hosts Orange County Leadership Prayer Breakfast


Goshen, N.Y. – Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus hosted the County’s annual Orange County Leadership Prayer Breakfast on Wednesday, October 20th at The Barn at Villa Venezia in Middletown.

Immaculée Ilibagiza, who survived the Rwandan Genocide in 1994, was the featured speaker at the event. Approximately 400 Orange County residents and other guests were in attendance.

“Immaculée’s story is amazing and inspirational,” Neuhaus said. “She really connected with our attendees and we were honored to have her as our guest. The prayer breakfast was once again a success and brought together residents from a variety of backgrounds in the community. Thank you to the Prayer Breakfast Committee, the staff at The Barn, our other speakers, and everyone who helped put together the event and joined us for a wonderful morning.”

Lawrence T. Dauer, PhD, physicist, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, presided over the event, which was held at no cost to county taxpayers. Speakers included Neuhaus, Josh Sommers, CEO of Focus Media, Inc., Dr. Juan D. Goyzueta, a member and elder of Goshen Reformed Church, Joan Cusack-McGuirk, CEO of Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall (MSLC), Heinrich Barth from the Bellvale Bruderhof Community and Minister Muffeta Krueger.

In 1994, Ilibagiza, then a college student, survived the Rwandan Genocide by hiding, along with seven other Tutsi women in a small bathroom in the home of a local pastor. After 91 days, Ilibagiza emerged to find that most of her family had been murdered. In 1998, she immigrated to the United States and has since written multiple books in which she shares her experiences and tells of the rediscovery of her faith and her refusal to succumb to anger and resentment. 

“It was an honor to have the opportunity to speak at Orange County’s prayer breakfast and share my experiences with a wonderful audience,” Ilibagiza said. “I appreciate the warm welcome that I received from County Executive Neuhaus and his guests. There was a great turnout and I enjoyed sharing my story of faith and forgiveness with the group.”

For more information, contact Justin Rodriguez, Assistant to the County Executive for Communications and Media Relations at 845.291.3255 or


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