Walk nets $1,500 for Pregnancy Center

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Participation and proceeds were down this year for the Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center's Walk for Life, but Director Sandi Billig didn't mind.

"I feel great," she said. "We had a fun time. Everybody enjoyed themselves."

Thirty-two runners and walkers took part in the second annual event Saturday, which is just fewer than last year's 35. Organizers raised $1,525 this year as opposed to last year's $3,000.

"It was a nice fund-raiser for summer," Billig said.

The walk was 1.8 miles and the non-competitive run was five kilometers. Three participants chose to run, an option that was not offered last year.

Molly Morse was one of them.

"I wanted to have a reason to get in shape and to help out," she said. "It's enough so it's a workout, but it's not too much."

She and her father sponsored her run with $40. Billig said participants could raise donations or sponsor themselves. There was no minimum entry charge.

Randy Kline raised the most money for his walk, but he did not wish to disclose how much that was.

"I've been supporting the pregnancy center since it opened 21 years ago," he said. "I've always just believed it's the thing to do."

Billig said the funds go toward services for pregnant women that are provided free of charge. The organization also holds a chili supper and silent auction in October and asks for money in baby bottle banks in the summer.

"Our whole purpose is to help women be able to continue their pregnancies1

to term and carry their babies," Billig said.

The organization is anti-abortion, but she stressed women are presented with all the options available to them. Regardless of what choices women make, the pregnancy center staff supports them.

"They're treated with care and respect no matter what," she said.

Billig was pleased with the Walk for Life's turnout, and that everyone left with a prize donated by businesses across town.

She also is excited about some advances at the center.

The Earn While You Learn program, which rewards future mothers with baby care items for taking the course, is now offered in Spanish, thanks to the Cohiho Foundation through the Yampa Valley Community Foundation.

Also, in the fall, the center will begin a post-abortion support group. "It's just another way we can reach out and help them," Billig said.

For more information about the center's services, call 824-5204 or stop by the office at 356 Ranney St. in the Country Mall, open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday from noon to 3 p.m.

Michelle Perry may be reached at 824-7031 or by e-mail at mperry@craigdailypress.com

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