Community walks for life
By Sarah Steele Wilson
Oct 31, 2012, 11:52
photo by Sarah Steele Wilson Families joined hands during the annual Walk for Life, as autumn leaves provided a seasonal back drop along the two mile route from White Bank Park and back.
Even as rain threatened, local residents gathered at White Bank Park in Colonial Heights, amidst falling Autumn leaves, and laced up their shoes to walk for a cause.
“We’re walking for life,” said Sheree Beauford. “For the sanctity of life.”
The annual Walk for Life is one of the biggest fund raisers of the year for the Pregnancy Support Center of the Tri-Cities, a non-profit volunteer-supported Christian ministry that describes its mission as offering emotional, spiritual and material support to women struggling with unplanned pregnancy, miscarriage and abortion.
“The Pregnancy Support Center of the Tri-Cities is a very vital service and ministry,” said John Marion, a member of the board who completed the walk on Saturday. “We walk not only to support life, to support the right of the baby to be born, the right for life, but we also want to raise money because our ministry needs some money to continue to provide the services.”
The walkers raise money and donate it to the center after the walk. Previous year’s walks have brought in as much as $13,634.
Many of those who completed the two mile stroll up Conduit and back on Saturday said that they felt the Pregnancy Support Center plays an important role in the pro-life movement, by presenting options and offering support to pregnant women who might be unsure of what to do.
photo by Sarah Steele Wilson A group of motocyclists rode in the vanguard, serving as leaders for the walkers.
“I think it has a very important role to offer options for people, support for young, pregnant women,” said Diane Flanagan.
The walk raises not only funds, but awareness for the center.
“I like the fact that it brings awareness to the forefront,” Beauford said. “Everybody already knows about abortion or about the different issues, however, this gives you an opportunity to put a face with the people who are doing something about it and being a part of that.”
Zsa Zsa Johnson, Executive Director of the organization, said that when the organization started 25 years ago, the walk was a way to let people know about the center and its services.
“When the center began, that was one of the ways of showing the community that we are here,” she said. “And we are here to help women and families that are in pregnancy related situations.”
Kathy Coffin said the Petersburg based center, which provides free services to people across the Tri-Cities, has two main purposes.
photo by Sarah Steele Wilson Walkers braved a potentially rainy Saturday morning walk through Colonial Heights to show their support the Pregnancy Support Center, a Petersburg based ministry.
“Everything that we do is to promote life and reach those who have needs,” she said.