Pregnancy Center fundraiser to help meet increased demand |

Pregnancy Center fundraiser to help meet increased demand

Lauren Blair

Yampa Valley Pregnancy and Family Center volunteers Carol Morton, Krista Arizmendez, Executive Director Vicki Van Couvering, and volunteers Terri Winey and June Ritchie help get the Center of Craig decorated Friday for Saturday's chili supper fundraiser and silent auction event. The silent auction will feature donations from about three dozen local businesses and individuals.

— The Yampa Valley Pregnancy and Family Center is holding its big fundraiser Saturday, and the event couldn't come at a better time for the organization. The center has nearly doubled the amount of traffic coming through its doors since May and is beginning to find its feet again after nearly closing up shop earlier this year.

The center provides emotional, spiritual and practical support to pregnant teens and women and caretakers of young children. It recently added the word "Family" to its name to better reflect the scope of its mission, which it has minted with the launch of a new website at

"The family center is becoming a double entendre," said Executive Director Vicki Van Couvering. "We want to serve families but the people that come to us are also becoming our family."

Van Couvering stepped in to fill the executive director position in May when past director Katie Grobe stepped down. She and the board were evaluating whether or not they could keep the center open due to shortfalls in funding.

"It really has turned around (since then)," Van Couvering said. "We're still not out of the woods yet, though… We're still not getting enough regular monthly donations."

On a display set up for the fundraiser, the center revealed that its estimated monthly expenses are $1,985, however its average monthly income in 2015 was $1,215.

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In the past six months, the center has signed up with a new fundraising platform via Amazon Smile, through which customers can select the Pregnancy and Family Center to receive a donation equaling a percentage of their Amazon purchase. A new printer cartridge recycling fundraiser has also brought in some added income, and the community continues to provide in-kind donations to support clients of the center.

"When we run out of something, somebody brings it," Van Couvering said. "The community is just amazingly there for us, and I am so delighted."

The center's annual chili supper fundraiser and silent auction has been a tradition for more than 25 years. This year's event will offer attendees not only homemade chili, but music provided by Stacey Mathers and the opportunity to bid on silent auctions items from more than two dozen local businesses and individuals including Yampa Valley Golf Course, Starbucks, Downtown Books and Breeze Street 24-Hour Fitness. The center will also present the Volunteer of the Year award.

Pregnancy Center volunteer Carol Morton is just glad her local center in Oregon was there to help her when she nearly chose to give up her child years ago and now enjoys hanging out with kids who come into the Craig center.

"It's important to every community," Morton said. "It's the choice of every individual, but I'm hoping they choose life. (The center is) there to help them. We can help them."

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or

If you go

Yampa Valley Pregnancy and Family Center chili supper

6 to 8 p.m. Saturday

Center of Craig, 601 Yampa Ave.

— Tickets are available at the door for the annual event. Individuals are $8, couples $12, a family of 4 $20 with additional children $2 each. The night includes food, live music and a silent auction.