The Pregnancy Care Center held its 13th annual banquet in October at the Arcata Community Center. Walking in one could hear the voices of friendly conversation filling the lofty openness of the large gym space. A multitude of round tables were scattered throughout the room, formally decorated with vase and flower centerpieces. Around 250 ladies in dresses, men in mostly collared shirts and slew of young people, who would provide the serve for the night, made their way to their places as the MC of the event got things started.
The flow of the night started out with a prayer and dinner, transitioning into the speaking. The local head of the operations gave some background and updates on how the center was doing. A volunteer told about the day-to-day operations and encouraged people to support and pray for the cause. After a brief introduction the key note speaker too the stage for the remainder of the evening.
Johnny Wisan, a 20-year-old Humboldt County local, has been serving annually at the banquet for the past six years.
“There’s a different speaker every year, usually nationally known,” Wisan said. “Some years we have politicians, last year we had a really awkward guy. This year was better, the lady telling her personal experiences were the most impact full.”
The keynote speaker was Carol Everett, a former abortion provider from Texas who oversaw 35,000 abortions during her time in the industry. After a personal encounter with God, she walked away from the industry and is one of the strongest pro-life speakers in the nation.
As she spoke a still quietness settled over the room as the seriousness, enormity and complexity of the issue sunk into the audience. The speaker wove personal emotion filled testimony with national facts and statistics about various aspects of the abortion industry. The talk lasted about 40 minuets with the silence only being broken by the occasional soft crying of the babies present in the room.
“Isn’t it great to hear all those babies,” Everett said. “We are pro life here.”
The event closed with an opportunity to donate money to the cause of pro life and a final prayer.
Andy Cecil, an 18-year-old college student attending HSU, was at the event for the first time this year.
“Cool to see all the people come out to this,” Cecile said. “I learned the prices of abortion, I never knew that before.”
At the event were also a number of people who were on staff or volunteered at the Pregnancy Care Center. One of these was Jessica Mayer, 20, who was a volunteer at the center for a year and on staff for two months. At the event she reflects on some of her time spent in service at the care center.
“I saw women going from scared and helpless to confident that they can care for their children.” Mayer said. “The greatest need that I saw at the center was the clients needed to know they were not alone and that someone loves them”
“ I have been to seven of these banquets, it’s done well each time and a little bit of growth over the past years,” Mayer said. “Must be doing better cause their able to open a better center and are looking at going mobile.”
The Pregnancy Care Center can be reached at 707-442-2345.