About 100 people turned out on a cool but sunny Saturday at Columbia Park in Park Hills to take part in the Parkland Pregnancy Resource Center’s 2019 Walk for Life fundraiser.
The PRC, a pro-life organization located at 815 E. Main St. in Park Hills, is a Christian-based, non-profit center for pregnant women and their families. The Walk for Life is one of two large annual fundraisers held by the center.
People of all ages and from a variety of backgrounds participate in the walk to support the PRC’s ministry to women and their families in St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Washington, Wayne, Reynolds, Iron and Madison counties.
Farmington resident Bobbie Hartmann returned this year — as she has the last several years — to take part in the Walk for Life.
“I’ve been going to the PRC for almost 10 years now,” she said. “It’s very supportive for the community. The PRC is wonderful. They help a lot of low-income families such as mine. I’ve got five kids at home, plus some out, so it’s been a real lifesaver for us. I love it. I support this more than anything else in the community right now.”
According to Brenda Carrow of Bonne Terre, she’s been a part of the Walk for Life “for years and years.”
“I live in Bonne Terre, but my church is Immaculate Conception here in Park Hills and we participated in the walk for years,” she said.
Asked why she participates in the walk each year, Carrow said, “Because I think we all need to respect and support life.”
Frederick Bond of Ste. Genevieve was returning for another year to be a part of the Walk for Life for more than one reason.
“I like to walk, first of all, and I think that children are the future of our society and they shouldn’t be killed by abortion.”
Daniel Baldesi of Potosi was taking part in the Walk for Life for the very first time while serving as interim youth minister at First Baptist Church in Desloge.
“We’re here because we support life and we believe that we are all made by God and it’s God’s command to preserve that life — whether it’s born or unborn,” he said.
PRC Executive Director Becky Laubinger is proud that the pro-life organization she leads is making a positive difference in the community.
“Along with patient and client visits, we provide healthy relationship classes for approximately 1,000 students,” she said. “In addition to classes and appointments, we provide families with diapers, wipes, baby clothes, highchairs, strollers and additional baby and mom-care items.
“We also offer free pregnancy tests, limited sexually-transmitted-infection testing, and first-trimester ultrasounds. All of these programs and services are absolutely free to the patients and clients. Our goal for the walk this year is to raise funds that will allow us to provide all of these programs and services to families in the Parkland.”
According to Laubinger, the walk turned out to be another successful fundraiser with a good turnout due to the beautiful fall weather, and more importantly, to stand tall for their belief in the sanctity of human life.
“Yesterday went well,” she said. “It was a beautiful day. We had a lot of people who came out and it seemed like everyone had a good time. Their efforts will help a great deal in continuing the work of the PRC.”
Among those recognized Saturday were the teams that raised the most money for the Walk for Life fundraiser. This year was a tie between First Baptist Church and Ester Baptist Church who both earned bragging rights for the honor of saving lives.
Paula Gamblin cut the ribbon and led the way as the walkers began their trek around Columbia Park.
Laubinger said the organization is still counting the money raised from the walk and are expecting additional funds to come in over the coming days.
“I’m not sure what our total will be by the end of the week, but we’re thankful for what has been raised already,” she said.
Laubinger added that donations are still welcome from those who were unable to participate in Saturday’s walk.
PRC has a 24-hour crisis hotline: 573-431-6001 or (toll free) 800-395-4357.
“We had a lot of people who came out and it seemed like everyone had a good time. Their efforts will help a great deal in continuing the work of the PRC.” — Becky Laubinger, PRC executive director
Kevin R. Jenkins is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and can be reached at 573-756-8927 or email@example.com