Pregnancy Center's fund-raiser set for Friday

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At the Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center, 30 gallons of chili can turn into thousands of diapers.

The pregnancy center holds its annual chili fund-raiser Friday. The event is the center's major moneymaker, bringing in the funds used to purchase diapers and fund services.

Unfortunately, the event was poorly attended last year, said Sandi Billig, director of the pregnancy center.

She doesn't know whether bad weather or conflicting events kept people away, but the center made only $1,300. That's less than half the usual proceeds.

As a result, the center's staff couldn't buy as many diapers as they typically do, Billig said.

She's hoping things turn around this year.

"It's generally a pretty big draw," she said. "We hope for another good one this year."

The nondenominational Christian service provides free pregnancy tests and diapers and lends expectant mothers maternity clothes and baby clothes, among other services.

So far this year, the center has served 600 clients, though some may be return visitors.

Although less money came in from last year's chili fund-raiser, the center was able to help those clients because most of the items were donated.

Kmart has been especially helpful, Billig said.

The department store donates its old display items to the pregnancy center.

During the next year, the center hopes to institute a new program that will enable clients to buy childcare equipment, such as high chairs and car seats, with certificates. Now, clients only can borrow equipment.

Through the Earn While You Learn program, clients will learn tips on how to care for themselves while they're pregnant and their babies after they are born.

As they complete learning modules on these topics, clients will earn certificates they can use to purchase items.

"It's a much better opportunity for them as well as their children, because they can learn things beneficial to them," Billig said.

Two pregnancy center board members cook the chili in five roasters, starting early in the day. It's mild chili, Billig said.

Anyone can eat it.

Dinner is served at 6 p.m. The silent auction closes at 7 p.m.

The cost is $5 a person, $8 a couple, $16 for a family of four and $1 for each extra child.

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