Care Net banquet brings in $17K for centerBy Emily Beckett Published 5:57pm Thursday, October 11, 2012
Care Net Pregnancy Resource Center of Chilton County raised more than $17,000 at its fundraising banquet Oct. 4 in Jemison.
The silent auction brought in more than $2,000, and one-time donations with other pledges totaled more than $15,000.
Pastor Wayne Hughes from The Church at Bethel in Thorsby hosted the center’s eighth annual banquet, which also featured Christian female vocalist Deidra Hughes of Nashville, Tenn., and 10 women who presented their cardboard testimonies—their life experiences written on pieces of cardboard—on topics such as abortion, depression, abuse and single parenthood.
The banquet’s theme, “Bridges of Hope,” was based on Psalm 119:114 and tied into Care Net’s mission of providing assistance, education and encouragement to women, men and youth regarding abstinence, pregnancy and post-abortion issues.
Those who seek counseling and medical services at Care Net also have the opportunity to hear the Gospel and attend Bible studies and parenting classes.
Although this year’s banquet netted fewer funds than previous years for the non-profit organization, Care Net Executive Director Deanna Crist said $17,000 would cover the center’s operating expenses for 2 1/2 months.
“In 2011, we raised $30,000, and in 2010, we raised $18,000,” Crist said. “As far as overall, [this year is] probably above average still.”
Banquet proceeds and other donations throughout the year fund Care Net’s pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, Bibles and Earn While You Learn class materials.
“In 2012, we’ve had 11 men and women to attend Earn While You Learn classes,” Crist said. “Five of those 11 have already graduated the program, so that’s a really big deal.”
Crist added that the center has had 184 clients, plus 90 of their family members, who have heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and at least 82 other spiritual discussions have taken place.
“We’ve had seven new professions of faith,” Crist said.
On May 2, the National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Crist said Care Net was able to speak to more than 1,500 students at five local schools about fetal development, pregnancy options, a personal abortion testimony and reasons they should remain abstinent until marriage.
To shed light on its reach in the county, Care Net, in 2012 alone, has had: 266 total visits, 179 new clients, 151 pregnancy tests and 102 life-affirming ultrasounds, 56 of which were actually considered to be at-risk pregnancies for abortion.
“The statistics are that when a woman sees her child on the ultrasound screen, then she is 90 percent more likely to choose life,” Crist said.
Care Net is now preparing for a holiday fundraiser through Southern Heritage to sell hams, turkeys, pecan pies, smoked bacon, and sausage and gravy for the holidays.
“We hope that youth groups (and) school clubs will help us in selling these items to help us raise necessary funds for the center,” Crist said. “At our center, there’s always a need of volunteers, prayer and donations.”
All donations are tax-deductible and are accepted at any time.
A post-abortion Bible study titled “Forgiven and Set Free” is scheduled for February.
For more information about Care Net’s services or volunteer opportunities, call Crist at (205) 755-6767.
The following is a list of this year’s banquet sponsors (for underwriting and the silent auction): Clanton Xpress Lube; Jackson & Jackson, Richard Moore, Marlie Cleckler, Shirley Smith, Treva Patterson, Brandy Hubbard, Bonefish Grill, Shirley Wright, Kayla Carroll, Mary Ingram, LJ’s at Durbin Farms, American Fitness, Honor Maid, Malynne Wells, Sidney Craig, Yoko McKinsey, MorLyn’s, Edwards Jewelers, Todd’s Produce, Shirley McAfee, Mike Robinson Garage, Garrison Home & Garden Center, The Fishing Hole, Janice Caudle, Wright’s Drugs, Elite Salon, Jackie Penley, Russell Home Center, Oak Grove Baptist Church – WMU, Stephanie Haynes – Shear Perfection, Deb’s Design, Freda Vines, Devin Haynes, Teresa Varden, June Hicks, Cakes -N- Candy, Penny Rhodes, Delilah Smitherman, Carole Christensen, Pinedale Gardens, Megan Dale, Christy Millard, Amber Price and anonymous donors.