VERO BEACH — Former presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson Sr. will serve as this year’s keynote speaker for the Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast, according to the organization’s website.
The 18th annual Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast will take place at 7:30 a.m. Feb. 15 at Riverside Park, located south of Beachland Boulevard and east of the Indian River Lagoon. Committee members for the prayer breakfast moved the event from the Indian River County Fairgrounds to Riverside Park for an increase in seat capacity after receiving an overwhelming response from the community.
Any tickets purchased for the fairgrounds will be honored at Riverside Park, officials said. Ticket information can be found here.
Last November, committee members announced Dr. Carson would headline the event for 2022. The prayer breakfast events aim to encourage participants to be part of a small group that “cultivates growth and facilitates positive change to create God-centered communities.”
Dr. Carson, who is considered a pioneer in the field of neurosurgery, served as the 17th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 2017 to 2021. Carson was a candidate for President of the U.S. in the 2016 Republican primaries.
Dr. Carson is the founder and chairman of the American Cornerstone Institute, a research institute that promotes faith, liberty, community and life along with common sense solutions.
Dr. Carson served as the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center for nearly 30 years, according to his biography. He took on the position when he was only 33 years old, making him the youngest major division director in the hospital’s history.
In 1987, Dr. Carson successfully performed the first separation of craniopagus twins conjoined at the back of the head, his biography shows. Dr. Carson also completed the first successful separation of type-2 vertical craniopagus twins in 1997 in South Africa.
Dr. Carson has received numerous awards and recognitions including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, his biography shows. Dr. Carson also received the Spingarn Medal, the highest honor granted from the NAACP.
He has also received more than 70 honorary doctorate degrees and authored nine books.
Dr. Carson and his wife co-founded the Carson Scholars Fund, Inc., a nonprofit organization that recognizes young people of all backgrounds for their academic and humanitarian achievements. Carson Scholars Fund – founded in 1994 – has granted more than $8 million total in scholarships.