Countywide : Conference to Cover Concerns of Men

About 50,000 men are expected to attend a conference in Anaheim today that organizers say is aimed at uniting men from different religious and ethnic groups.

The convention at Anaheim Stadium is given by Promise Keepers, a Christian-based organization founded four years ago by Bill McCartney, head football coach at the University of Colorado.

Thousands of men began arriving Friday night.

"We had nearly 45,000 (preregister), which is unheard of for men," said event spokesman Terry Duffy, who added that busloads of members of religious organizations were expected from the Bay Area, San Diego, Sacramento, Phoenix and Las Vegas.

The participants will cover topics such as integrity and family and community involvement, said Randy Phillips, the president of Promise Keepers.

"America's moral foundation is crumbling today under the weight of broken promises, and this pressure is shattering marriages and creating widespread hurt and pain," Phillips said. "Men . . . can get so focused in the marketplace (and) can do it at the expense of the home," he added at a news conference held just before the event.

Some attendees who arrived early Friday evening said they want to be able to talk candidly with other men, learn to be better fathers and husbands, and strengthen their faith.

A similar convention last year in Boulder, Colo., attracted more than 50,000 men.

This will be the first of such conferences around the country this year.

For information about tickets, which are $55, call (714) 999-8980. Arrangements can be made for those who cannot afford the ticket price, Duffy said.

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