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Crab feed to help pregnancy center launch mobile unit
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The Pregnancy Help Center of Manteca hopes to address one of the area’s growing needs with an all-you-can-eat feast.

Crab, anyone?

The Pregnancy Help Center volunteers will host their first-ever crab feed on Friday, Feb. 28, at the Manteca Senior Center.

The evening will include all the trappings: Wine and cheese tasting, beginning at 5:30 p.m.; dinner at 6; a live auction; dessert auction; and dancing.

The dinner will include fresh marinated crab, pesto and marinara pasta, bread and salad.

Tickets are $45.

The proceeds will be used in part to complete the center’s ongoing, year-long venture -- a 33-foot mobile ultrasound unit that will service the Manteca, Lathrop, Ripon, Escalon and French Camp communities.

Proceeds will also be used to help the center find a larger location.

The motor home and the ultrasound unit were purchased using funds raised at the center’s inaugural 5-kilometer walkathon in May and annual banquet in October, in conjunction with the Knights of Columbus. It was unveiled in November.

All that’s left is a license to operate the mobile clinic. The state licensing process could take 3-5 months, according to one volunteer.

There is a growing need for service and support in the Central Valley.

The volunteer-driven Pregnancy Help Center offers soon-to-be parents an alternative to abortion, while assisting them with classes, counseling, clothing and supplies for up to two years.

Seven years ago, the center served 120 families in the five-city area. Today, the number of families is in excess of 300.

“With the addition of the newer medical facility and the mobile unit, we have the potential to more than double the number of clients,” said Executive Director Janice Laplume.

The Pregnancy Help Center will use the mobile unit to reach those who might not otherwise visit the center, particularly teenagers.

“In the last seven years, because the economy has been so bad, the need has more than quadrupled,” said Elizabeth Leja, the center’s volunteer fundraiser coordinator.

“So many in the community don’t know what we have to offer. It’s all free of charge.”

The mobile unit will be staffed with a California-licensed physician, retired or not, and nurses. Currently, all positions are vacant.

Tickets for the crab feed can be purchased at the Pregnancy Help Center at 640 N. Main Street, next to the Bank of Stockton. Operating hours are Monday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Tuesday and Thursday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The center is closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

The Manteca Senior Center is located at 295 Cherry Lane.

The crab feed tips off the center’s calendar of events. On Saturday, March 22, the center will team with the California Highway Patrol to host a Car Seat Safety Inspection at the center.

The center is also planning “Manteca Color Blast,” a fun run tentatively scheduled for the fall.

For more information, contact (209) 239-9899 or (209) 640-2171.