Walk for Life set Saturday, Sept. 21

By KAITLIN GEBBY
Posted 8/13/19

New Hope Pregnancy Center is planning their 23rd annual Walk for Life fundraiser and is searching for supporters. New Hope is a nonprofit Christian organization focused on helping women through …

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Walk for Life set Saturday, Sept. 21

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New Hope Pregnancy Center is planning their 23rd annual Walk for Life fundraiser and is searching for supporters. 

New Hope is a nonprofit Christian organization focused on helping women through unplanned pregnancies. CEO Tracie Shellhouse said she wants women to “make winning choices that are not only good for baby, but good for them, too.” 

The Walk for Life is a 1.5-mile walk through downtown Cleveland and the second biggest fundraiser of the year for the pregnancy center. With a usual crowd of about 100 to 200 sponsored walkers, the organization uses the money raised and “puts it right back into New Hope,” according to Delaney Walker, director of advancement. 

Shellhouse explained that New Hope offers a range of free services to women and those affected by unplanned pregnancies, including ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, a 24-hour helpline, peer coaching, parenting support groups, miscarriage support, post-abortion services and fatherhood groups. 

Shellhouse added that they try to offer “hand ups” rather than “hand outs.” 

She said parents can earn points, or "baby bucks," by attending any number of New Hope’s programs designed to prepare and educate parents, and exchange those points for much-needed supplies like formula, diapers, baby clothes and car seats. She said they are able to offer these services and items at no cost because of the ongoing support from the community. 

Unique from other fundraisers, like New Hope’s spring banquet, is the widespread family participation within the community, Walker said. 

“We’ve seen kids grow up with this walk,” she said. “At a fundraiser dinner, you typically wouldn’t see young children with mom and dad … It’s nice having something where the whole family can get involved and support us.” 

Shellhouse said the Walk for Life grants residents the opportunity to “physically show their support.” 

She explained that although there are more than 400 participants on the day of the walk, only 100-150 are sponsored walkers who raised money prior to the event. Walker later added that even 200 walkers would help the organization reach its fundraising goal.

The walk starts at North Cleveland Church of God and leads participants through downtown to New Hope’s facility, where Walker said individuals may pray over the building if they choose before heading back to the church. Walker added that the event is short, but people often linger after the event to meet up with familiar faces. 

As a key fundraiser for the organization, Shellhouse said they’d like to raise between $45,000 and $50,000 to support their programs. 

With registration at 8 a.m. and the walk starting at 9 a.m., Walk for Life will be held Saturday, Sept. 21 at North Cleveland Church of God, located at 335 11th St. N.E.

Walker and Shellhouse are encouraging those interested to get started now to allow plenty of time to drum up support through sponsorships. 

New Hope plans to reward sponsored walkers based on fundraising milestones. For every $100 raised, walkers will receive a $5 gift card to White Wing Christian bookstore and Lasater's Coffee and Tea. Those who raise $225 win a Walk for Life T-shirt, and those who raise $1,000 or more will be treated to a dinner party with Shellhouse at "Tracie's Kitchen."

At its core, Walker said the fundraiser is a morning of simple support. 

“The people, the families, they are the heart of the walk,” she said. “A lot of things could fall through. We could have this walk without all the snacks, banners and incentives, and still it would happen. It’s just about people giving a little time (to fundraise for New Hope).” 

Registration for the walk is open now. Same-day registration will start at 8 a.m. on the Saturday of the walk.

For more information about the walk and how to participate as a sponsor, visit newhopepcc.org, or call Walker at 423-479-5825 ext. 7. 

Inset Quote:

“We’ve seen kids grow up with this walk. At a fundraiser dinner, you typically wouldn’t see young children with mom and dad … It’s nice having something where the whole family can get involved and support us.” — Delaney Walker

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