Englewood Baptist Church is slated to be packed Thursday with more than 660 people coming out to show their support for the Pregnancy Care Center’s mission in the Twin Counties.
The 2013 Celebrate Life Banquet will kick off at 7 p.m. in the church’s worship hall and serve as one of the organization’s major annual fundraisers.
“All of the Pregnancy Care Center events draw a tremendous number of supporters,” said Kay Gurganus, the center’s executive director. “The large banquet attendance reflects the importance of our ministry to people in our community. They know our ministry is building a life-affirming culture, and they have continually supported us in that mission.”
The center’s annual operating budget is more than $368,000, Gurganus said, and officials are expecting $90,000 in pledges and contributions at the banquet.
All services of the Pregnancy Care Center are free, and the organization receives no government funding.
Gurganus said she would like attendees to take away from the banquet a greater awareness of the center’s free services in the community and that those services are not limited to women in crisis pregnancies.
“We also promote healthy choices for teens in schools and churches as well as provide weekly fatherhood classes at the center,” Gurganus said. “We also provide limited STD/HIV testing for females.”
The event’s keynote speaker, Kirk Walden, is a former pregnancy care center director and founder of LifeTrends, a company serving more than 1,100 life-affirming ministries in the country and throughout the world.
“The Pregnancy Care Center is truly impacting the community in two ways. First, they are presenting hope for life and positive, life-affirming options. In a world where everybody has their slogans, the center (staff) are walking with these young ladies and men through challenging times and offering them hope. That makes all the difference in the world,” Walden said. “Secondly, they also are a leader in the area of pregnancy prevention in the schools.
“It is about waiting, and the program is having a great impact. If somebody is in a difficult situation, (the center’s staff) will walk with them and help them. That is a great recipe to change a culture.”
The banquet is about raising money so the Pregnancy Care Center can continue to perform that service for the community, Walden said.
All pledges and contributions to the Pregnancy Care Center are tax-deductible and remain in the local community, officials said.
Pregnancy Care Center officials said they only are taking additional reservations for the banquet if they have cancellations, and anyone interested in getting reservations can call 446-2273.