Mindy Corporon lost her oldest son and father to an unspeakable hate crime in Johnson County in April 2014.
But she has emerged as an eloquent voice for good overcoming evil and for the transformative power of religious faiths coming together.
She held a crowd of about 850 people spellbound with her hopeful story and message Tuesday at the 55th annual Greater Kansas City Area Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast in the Bartle Hall Ballroom.
Corporon recalled that on April 13, 2014, she lost two of the closest members of her family, “and I heard God speak to me, directly to me.”
“And since that day, I am on a mission from God,” she told the gathering.
God’s challenge, she said, is for the rest of her life to promote kindness, religious understanding among faiths and the principle that good can triumph over evil.
She acknowledged that when she and others are “in the midst of our own storm” sometimes they don’t feel it, but when she carries that message forward, “I feel peace.”
Corporon recounted the awful events of the day when her father, William Corporon, and 14-year-old son Reat were gunned down at the Jewish Community Center by F. Glenn Miller Jr. She acknowledged the agony of losing these beloved family members and the hole that left in her heart.
But she said she has discovered that “giving back” and rallying people in communion through interfaith friendships and good works help fill that hole.
She reminded people that she is again leading a community diversity event April 12-18 called SevenDays: Make a Ripple, Change the World.
Reat Underwood was also a poignant part of the prayer breakfast. Organizers showed a video of him singing the national anthem in a clear, strong voice.
Lucille Lowe, chairwoman of the prayer breakfast steering committee, spoke for many when she thanked Corporon for her example of emerging from tremendous suffering and struggle to be a voice for hope and peace.
Tuesday’s prayer breakfast fund recipient is St. James Place, operated by Bishop Sullivan Center.