A fundraising banquet to launch the extension of Red Deer’s Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre’s services to Stettler proved a big success.
About 280 attended the event which was held March 7th at the Stettler Community Hall.
The banquet included a catered meal, live and silent auctions and entertainment including a solo by Charlotte Maxwell.
“We had a mix of age groups there,” said Pastor Ross Helgeton, who has organized local events involving the Care Centre over the years and has always felt having a local office would be beneficial to the community.
A formational meeting was held here in town last spring to help gauge interest.
About 35 showed up to that initial meeting, which showed strong promise to Red Deer officials including Anne Waddell, the Centre’s executive director.
The Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre has been serving Red Deer and area since 1988.
Staff and volunteers provide compassionate support and education for individuals and families impacted by unexpected pregnancy and its effects. Programs and services are offered free of charge, they are confidential and they are also offered in a safe and non-judgmental environment regardless of age, gender, race or religion.
Meanwhile, highlights of the evening also included a talk from Waddell, a video presentation and a personal testimony.
“Anne gave a bit of a panoramic view of Red Deer’s facility, and how the satellite locations have started up in Olds, Rocky Mountain House and Drumheller – which is just getting going,” he said, adding that 30 tickets were also sold at the door which further showed organizers of the solid interest that exists in the region for the service.
The goal during the March 7th event was to raise $60,000 which would essentially cover operational expenses for a year.
Helgeton said that when that goal is reached, committee members will begin to look for office space and a part-time person to begin operations.
“I did explain that we weren’t there to extract anything from them that didn’t wish to give,” said Helgeton. “But I did say, as a pastor for many years, I hadn’t spoken about money even once. I did teach on giving and on whole life stewardship.
“There is an invisible but strong cord from our hearts to our wallets. When our hearts beat for the Lord, or for this effort or for our children or grandchildren or another mission, it automatically pops your wallet out,” he explained. “So (I said) let your heart beat for this tonight.”
Helgeton said committee members are also looking for folks who would be willing to donate to the cause on a monthly basis as well.