Former Major League Baseball pitcher, cancer survivor and motivational speaker Dave Dravecky will be the keynote speaker at the 19th annual Ag Leadership World Ag Expo Breakfast on Feb. 14. The fundraising event, hosted by California Agricultural Leadership Program alumni of Kings and Tulare counties, benefits the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation (CALF).

While Dravecky was pitching for the San Francisco Giants, a cancerous desmoid tumor was discovered in his pitching arm. He is known for his dramatic and courageous 1989 comeback following surgery. Just as dramatic was his departure from baseball after the return of the cancer and the amputation of his left arm.

Through an incredible journey of physical and emotional pain, Dravecky has experienced the heights and depths of joy and despair, faith and doubt, intimacy and aloneness. His story is about finding hope, courage and perseverance in the midst of overwhelming uncertainty. In the book “Worth of a Man,” Dravecky wrote about his challenges, his faith and his discovery of a new identity outside of baseball. He and his wife, Jan, founded Endurance, a ministry to encourage those who are facing serious illness, loss or depression.

Over the past 18 years, the Ag Leadership World Ag Expo Breakfast has raised more than $800,000 for CALF. The Ag Leadership Program, operated by CALF, has provided an advanced leadership development experience for emerging agricultural leaders since 1970. More than 1,200 men and women have participated in Ag Leadership and have become influential leaders and active volunteers in the agriculture industry, government, communities, business and education.

The fundraiser breakfast will be Feb. 14 at the Heritage Complex in Tulare, Calif. Doors open at 6:30 a.m. Table sponsors are $600, which includes a steak breakfast for eight and program recognition. Individual tickets are available for $65. Tickets sell fast, but are still available by calling The Lagomarsino Group at (559) 735-9700 or by e-mailing CALF@lagomarsino.com.