The Manteca Pregnancy Help Center is trying to raise $100,000 one step at a time.
The first step will take place Saturday, May 5, when the non-profit organization’s first 5K walk-a-thon will take place starting at Northgate Park.
“We’re looking at raising between $75,000 and $100,000,” said Janice Laplume, director of the Pregnancy Help Center located in the State Farm Insurance building next to Bank of Stockton on the northeast corner of North Main Street and Edison Avenue.
The money is going toward the purchase of a portable medical facility that can be taken to various parts of town to bring the service to those in need.
“We have a motor home that we’re going to convert into a medical unit complete with sonogram,” explained Laplume.
“We’ve decided we need to reach more teen-agers because that’s what our mission is, rather than wait for them to come to us. We’ll drive it around the community and to a park and they can come in for free pregnancy test. If they’re pregnant, we can give them a free ultrasound. All our services are free. We charge nothing,” she added.
“It’s a very big leap for us,” Laplume said, which is why they have set their fund-raising goal that high which will cover the cost of the mobile home plus the sonogram equipment and everything that they will need to furnish the 33-foot mobile clinic.
“We’ve located a mobile home and we’re starting to raise funds to pay for it now,” she explained.
The cost of the motor home plus licenses and taxes is $27,000. The sonogram will be another $25,000 to $30,000.
While the first walk-a-thon, which will henceforth be an annual fund-raising event, is being set for May 5, the Pregnancy Help Center is conducting an early registration event Saturday from 9 a.m. until noon at its facility on 640 N. Main Street.
Registration fee for each participant is $20 which includes a shirt. Additionally, all participants are asked to find people who will sponsor them for the walk-a-thon which is part of the fund-raising effort.
The walk will depart from Northgate Park, across Hoyt Lane from Neil Hafley Elementary School, at 10 a.m.
For any other questions, contact the Pregnancy Help Center at (209) 239-9899.
In previous years, the all-volunteer Pregnancy Help Center had one major fund-raising event during the year, a banquet held at the Chez Shari restaurant in the Manteca Golf Course. This year, that banquet will be held on Oct. 25.
“The banquet starts at 7 and is over by 9 o’clock (in the evening) on the dot. This is going to be our fourth this year,” Laplume said.
The organization also welcomes generous donations anytime. Donors can either send their donations in the mail or “they can come in person and put it in a credit card,” Laplume said.
The center’s new office hours are: Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Tuesday from 1 to 7 p.m., and Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m. Appointments also can be made by calling the the office at (209) 239-9899.
Volunteers also are welcome all the time. “We especially need Spanish-speaking volunteers,” Laplume said.
The Pregnancy Help Center’s mailing address is 640 N. Main Street, Manteca 95336.