Annual fundraiser to benefit local mothers in need of aid |

Annual fundraiser to benefit local mothers in need of aid

Bridget Manley

— Spending $250 for a pair of pies may be unheard of at most auctions, but it happened last year at the chili supper and silent auction hosted by the Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center.

Friday night, it could happen again.

“The bidding gets crazy,” said Debbie Rudd, director of the Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center.

She believes this year to be no different as the annual fundraiser enters its 15th year.

Rudd expects 200 attendees at this year’s event.

“That’s what I’m planning for,” she said. “It could be bigger.”

Last year, the pregnancy center raised more than $2,000 dollars during the event. This year, Rudd said she hopes to raise close to the same.

Local artisans and businesses alike make donations for the auction, providing gift certificates and hand-crafted items including afghans, collectible bears and dolls. Handmade items have proven so popular at previous auctions that “people come to do their Christmas shopping,” Rudd said.

“We usually have 40 to 50 businesses and individuals contribute” to the fundraiser, she said.

Behind the scenes, pregnancy center volunteers and board members cook up chili and set up decorations.

“We borrowed roasters from everyone we knew,” Rudd said, laughing.

The event, Rudd explained, is a community effort, providing locals the chance to reach out to women who suddenly – and often unexpectedly – become mothers.

“It’s a neat way of the community helping the community,” she said.

Event proceeds ensure the pregnancy center can continue providing goods and services to expectant mothers. On average, Rudd said, the office receives at least 25 visits per month for practical needs, including free pregnancy tests, baby clothing, baby food and information about alternatives to abortion.

The pregnancy center offers more than just information, Rudd and longtime volunteer Lorraine Garcia explained – it also offers relationships.

“I love it when (clients) bring in their babies,” Rudd said.

Garcia, who Rudd said is like a grandmother to many of the center’s clients, can’t remember if she’s been volunteering at the pregnancy center for six or seven years. Still, she remembers what first sparked her interest in the pregnancy center: a personal history similar to that of the young women who use the center’s services.

“I like the girls,” Garcia said. “You build a lot of special relationships with” them.

“Being a volunteer : I think I get to interact with the girls more,” Garcia added. “That’s my specialty.”

Although Friday’s chili supper remains the center’s primary fundraiser, other activities throughout the year also benefit the nonprofit organization.

“We try to do something quarterly,” Rudd said. In the past, fundraisers have included a Walk for Life, a Bunko night, Goat Berry Bingo during the county fair and a coin drive in which baby bottles serve as makeshift coin banks.

Like the pregnancy center’s other fundraisers, the chili supper is one means of raising support for those facing unexpected pregnancy. In this case, it hopes to do so, one bid at a time.

Bridget Manley can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 207, or

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