The annual Fundraising Banquet for the Walker Area Pregnancy Support Center was held April 19 at the venue of Northern Lights Event Center.
Our banquet theme this year was “A GIFT,” as we believe each child is a gift from God to be treated with respect and honor along with their moms and dads.
Master of ceremonies this year was Jarrod Norvold, Youth and Worship pastor at Calvary Church.
Our table hosts greeted more than 320 guests — highest number ever — as well as the highest number of guests who had never attended one of our banquets before.
Our Board of Directors were on hand to greet and to participate. Current Board Members include Sandy Pence, Board chair; Randy Schmidtke, vice chair; Bill Marshall, finance; Terri Fierstine, secretary; and Carole Robinson, officer.
We were also introduced to our new Client Services Director Tina Hudziak. Tina will work personally with our clients and keep the client records and client curriculum updated along with other duties. She is a welcome addition to our center.
We heard a beautiful testimony this year from a young couple who had a complicated pregnancy last year resulting in a difficult delivery and ongoing concerns. This courageous woman told us of their journey through this past year and how amazing a miracle they have witnessed in watching their son grow and overcome the health challenges he was born with, after he had suffered a stroke two weeks before his birth.
Our first keynote speaker was Dr. Neil Skogerboe, retired physician from Bemidji, who is currently medical director of the Northwoods Pregnancy Care Center of Bemidji.
Dr. Skogerboe became a doctor around the time that Roe v Wade was passed and spoke to us of young women who would come to him with their difficult pregnancy decisions. He helped us to understand his dilemma as he wrestled with the decision to be a pro-life doctor, while trying to help women gather the resources and strength to carry their baby to term and parent, or place them in an adoptive situation.
Our second keynote speaker, Emma, a former client who has parented her son through some hard years and is pursuing her dream of college and a career. She shared some of her experiences, both good and bad, and that she is thankful to have had our Pregnancy Support Center to turn to for nonjudgmental support through the decision-making process, as well as ongoing support through those difficult first months.
Each year we have many businesses and individuals who underwrite the costs of our banquet so that all the proceeds of the evening go directly to the operations of our center. This year we received over half of our annual budget through this event.
On behalf of the clients we serve, the staff, volunteers and I wish to thank:
Amity Graphics of Bemidji (Printing)
Charlie’s Up North
Dick Kruger-REALTOR® -Lakeplace.com
Dan Pflugshaupt-REALTOR® -Lakeplace.com
Midwest Cremation Society/Dennis Funeral Home
First National Bank, Walker
Interstate Traffic Signs (ITS)
Lakeside Fireplace & Stove
Usborne Books & More (Sarah Norvold)
Nistler Floor Covering
Dean & Chris Garoutte
Reed’s Family Outdoor Outfitters
Shine the Light/YourQFM
Spinal Health Professionals (SHP) of Bemidji
Sunshine Lawn & Landscape
Gordon & Mary Tiedeman
Timberlane Estates (The Brace Family)
Jeff & Kim Vigen
Walker Dry Cleaners
James Brown, the cooks and waitstaff of the Northern Lights Event Center, served a wonderful meal in record time this year. We are sure blessed to have James and his staff working tirelessly to make our meal a success each year.
A special thank you goes to Brittany of Walker Floral. Every year she goes above and beyond with the decorating. It is always so beautiful!
Walker Area Pregnancy Support Center’s Mission is to equip clients to make life affirming choices about relationships, health and pregnancy through a network of care based on Biblical principles.
It is a refuge and safe place for women and men experiencing difficult pregnancy situations, and for those who have been affected by traumatic abortion experiences.
Walker Pregnancy Center does not perform abortion or refer for abortion services or provide birth control, but can provide accurate medical information about those procedures including side affects and possible complications. Advocates will help clients explore all options including adoption and parenting, and refer to other community services to create a strong support system throughout pregnancy and beyond.
Walker Area PSC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which operates solely on private donations and does not receive any support from government agencies, so the Annual Banquet is their main fundraiser; accounting for over 50 percent of our annual budget each year with several other fundraising efforts and grant writing throughout the year.
All Pregnancy Center Services are free and confidential and include:
• Free pregnancy tests and otions counseling
• Free maternity and baby clothing, blankets and “welcome” gift baskets for new babies.
• An incentive program through which clients participate in Learning Modules including health and safety, budgeting, prenatal development, nutrition, birth, new parenting, and Bible study, in exchange for needed baby items such as cribs, strollers, diapers etc.
• D.A.D. (Developing as Dads) male mentoring for dads-to-be
• Sexual Integrity Education
• Referrals for other community services such as; our local food shelf, Family Safety Network, Support Within Reach, Cass County Nursing Services, WIC and Bi-Cap services help bring a network of supportive services to our Clients.
• We also offer non-judgmental and confidential lay counseling for those who have suffered a miscarriage or have a traumatic abortion experience in their past.
For more information about our services, to make a donation or inquire as to how you can help, stop in during public hours at our new location — 102 Eighth Street North — Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. or call (218) 547-5433.