New Hope Pregnancy Care Center’s spring fundraising banquet just might be the perfect place for a date, and tickets are going fast for the Tuesday, April 1, event.
Executive Director Tracie Shellhouse continuously talks the night up to those she meets.
“A lot of times, you don’t think of a banquet as a great date night, but this one is one you will leave feeling encouraged,” Shellhouse said. “Last year, I never said the word abortion, because we are a life-affirming ministry and that is what we are about.”
Added Shellhouse, “We focus on the positive and the good things.”
Like how New Hope’s client visits have increased by 42.5 percent from 2011 to 2013. Or, how more than 500 babies have been born to clients over the last nine years.
Development Director Beth Henderson said the center pulled her in with its life-affirming message.
“How many opportunities do you have to literally be a part of saving somebody’s life,” Henderson asked. “[Women in a crisis pregnancy situation] feel like they do not have choices. They feel like their only option is to terminate their pregnancy.”
She said other ladies want desperately to keep their babies.
“They feel like their life is hopeless,” Henderson said. “To literally have your hands in making a difference for that person and that life is incredible.”
New Hope booked pro-life speaker and missionary to the Dominican Republic Mike Williams for a second year in a row. His last engagement in Cleveland reportedly kept the crowd laughing and thinking as he presented his story.
Williams splits his year between speaking engagements and the Dominican Republic. According to his website, his family directs the Cups of Cold Water Project, an effort to save those trapped in human trafficking while preventing the same fate for young boys and girls.
Guests repeatedly shook Shellhouse’s hand last year as they left with one common question, “He was so good. You are going to ask him back again next year, aren’t you?”
The spring banquet is the nonprofit’s largest fundraiser for the year. Funds raised through the event go toward providing services to men and women in a crisis pregnancy situation. These programs include Just for Guys, the Fraternity, Baby Bucks, abstinence and sexual purity talks, after-abortion care and resources on pregnancy, parenting and child care.
Shellhouse said last year’s spring banquet was much more fun and relaxing than she thought possible.
“[It] is usually work. We’ve been running around all day and then you have to go home and throw your high heels and makeup on,” Shellhouse said. “You are just tired and really feel like you need to be in flip-flops. I had a good time.”
Added Henderson, “We just laughed and laughed. How rare, I think, that we had the opportunity to talk about something that is so very serious and so fundamental to life, and laugh. We celebrate it.”
Tickets for the event are $40 for an individual and $300 for a table for eight. The event will be held at First Baptist Church and begin at 6:30.
More information on the event can be found by calling Beth Henderson at 479-5825 or by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.