September 2008

For A Good Cause

Author: Ann DeMart

What do you think is the perfect baby gift? Cute clothes, a lovely handmade item, a college fund? Those are good, no question. But, to the Pregnancy Center & Clinic of the Low Country, the single most important thing you can give a baby is a healthy start.

On Saturday, September 20, you’ll have the opportunity to give this truly vital gift to many Lowcountry babies at the Celebration of Life, the Pregnancy Center’s 18th annual fundraising dinner and auction at Sea Pines Country Club on Hilton Head Island.

“Every child deserves a healthy beginning,” said Vera Bailey, Ph.D., executive director for the center. Prenatal care, crucial for both mother and baby, is not limited to medical attention. “Pregnant woman, especially those who are young and scared, abandoned or without sufficient resources, also have emotional and material needs,” explained Dr. Bailey, whose soothing voice alone could allay the greatest of fears. “We tend to the overall future well-being of mother and child.”

The center offers free pregnancy tests, information on community services, professional counseling for women and families, and guidance for clients’ male partners. Dr. Bailey added, “Respect and strict confidentiality are also part of our services. We help our clients make their own decisions. We give them comprehensive information about pregnancy, parenting adoption or other options, and offer referrals to licensed agencies or for further medical care.

In addition to prenatal care for the first 16 weeks of gestation, the center also provides ultrasound/Doppler tests, performs tests for sexually transmitted diseases and offers post-partum assistance. Not only helping women prepare for their babies with Lamaze, parenting and nutrition classes, the center’s staff and volunteers also prepare them for a better future through educational guidance, scholarship opportunities and help find employment and housing. As for material needs, the center also provides maternal and infant clothing, a toddler clothing exchange, and a shower basket filled with essentials for a new baby. Infant equipment, such as cribs, car seats and strollers may be borrowed by clients from the center.

Dr. Bailey is quick to credit the dedicated, caring staff members and fully-trained volunteers who make the Pregnancy Center’s programs possible, including Leveda Kerling, R.N., Maureen Hueyo and Karen Gilmore. Other important contributors include Janet Wurtz, a retired teacher who conducts support meetings, Philomena Meighan, who teaches English to Spanish-speaking clients and Dee Merian, a local author who has leant her experience and expertise to the Pregnancy Center for 10 years.

Merian is currently managing publicity for the annual fundraiser event, which promises a great evening of cocktails, dinner, music by Cheryl Christine and auctions. “Our event will be a lot of fun,” she said. “The silent auction will feature paintings, jewelry, and unique items that are not available anywhere else. The best part is always the live auction. It’s a terrific opportunity to bid on fabulous resort vacations, time shares, gift certificates for sports and leisure, and wonderful activities at prices that are well below true value. It’s an entertaining and lively way to buy gifts for yourself, friends or for the holidays. And, it’s an easy way to give the gift of a healthy future to the very youngest members of our community.”

Tickets for the event are $90. Sponsorships, which include numerous complimentary tickets, are available at levels ranging from Silver ($300), Gold ($500) or Platinum ($1,000) to Underwriter ($2,000). For reservations or more information, please call 843-689-2222 or visit www.pregnancycenterhhi.org.

The Pregnancy Center & Clinic of the Low Country, a non-denominational, community service, is located at 1 Cardinal Road, Suites 1 and 2, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina 29926. Call (843) 689-2222 or simply drop in.

If you Go
Celebration of Life
18th Annual Fundraiser
Pregnancy Center & Clinic of the Low Country
Cash Bar, Dinner and Silent & Live Auctions
Tickets available for $90, sponsorships and tables available
Black Tie Optional
6:00 p.m. Saturday, September 20, 2008
Sea Pines Country Club, Hilton Head Island
(843) 689-2222 or visit pregancycenterhhi.org

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