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Banquet benefitting Pregnancy Help Center

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POSTED October 1, 2013 11:19 p.m.

Melanie Morgan, award-winning San Francisco talk show host, television anchor, journalist as well as a well-known pro-life advocate is the guest speaker at the sixth annual fund-raising banquet for the Pregnancy Help Center of Manteca.

The event, which will feature a complimentary dinner, will take place Thursday, Oct. 17, at Chez Shari in the Manteca Golf Course, 305 N. Union Road. Registration and hors d’oeuvres will be from 6 to 7 p.m. followed by the dinner and program from 7 to 9 p.m.

Those who plan to attend must RSVP by Wednesday, Oct. 11, by calling (209) 239-9899. Dress is business casual.

Pregnancy Help Center executive director Janice Laplume said proceeds will be used for operational expenses next year at the facility located at the northeast corner of North Main and Edison streets. It shares the building anchored by State Farm Insurance.

The event provides supporters of the center an opportunity to make a “financial gift.” Incorporated in 1988, Pregnancy Help Center of Manteca is a 501 c 3, non-profit and faith-based organization. It offers a wide variety of services including free pregnancy tests, peer counseling, male advocates for young fathers, as well as maternity clothing and baby supplies and clothes for young mothers or pregnant women. Available as well, also free of charge, are parenting and life skill classes plus one-on-one sessions.

The facility exists “to promote life-affirming services for young women and men in the Manteca, Lathrop, French Camp, Escalon and Ripon area who find themselves facing an unexpected pregnancy,” according to the program’s mission statement.

On display in the Chez Shari parking lot the day of the banquet will be the mobile medical unit that the center is still in the process of getting ready for full service.

“We’re still putting it together. It’s still not licensed but we’re working on it,” explained Laplume.

However, its renovation is complete with identifying decals on the outside of the portable clinic. It will allow the center to bring its services and volunteer staff to its clientele instead of the other way around. It’s also waiting for ultrasound equipment. That, too, is still waiting for enough funds to purchase one. Members of the Knights of Columbus of St. Patrick’s Church in Ripon are working to raise half of the money that is needed to buy the equipment. The other half will be donated by the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus.

“The total cost for the one we’re getting, I believe, is $50,000,” Laplume said.

A medical doctor and nurses are also needed to get the mobile clinic operational.

“We have to have a doctor,” she said, but they still have to find one. However, “I’m fortunate I have three nurses.”

Only one nurse is actually working, while the second one is a member of the board of directors. The third nurse is on call. All are volunteers.

The complimentary meal to be served at the banquet is being made possible by “a little bit of underwriting money,” said Laplume.

It comes from one who regularly volunteers at the center. “When she volunteers so many hours, she’s given a certain amount of money” by her employer which is then used for the dinner expenses.

In addition to the featured speaker, a few clients of Pregnancy Help Center will be giving testimonies during the program, Laplume said.

Pregnancy help Center is located at 640 N. Main Street, telephone (209) 239-9899. Business hours are Monday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m., closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Board members are Dave Thompson, president; Dan Leja, vice president; Niles Anderson, treasurer; Dorothy Silva, secretary; Lori Carter, member, and Odile Draa, member.

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