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Walking in the Rain

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On Saturday, several children donned rainboots and Walk For Life shirts as they joined family members to support the Henry County Pregnancy Care Center. Pictured, from left, are Krew Gray, 4, Juni Gray, 3, Titus Neal, 3, Ally Neal, 7, and Emma Neal, 5.
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ABOVE LEFT: Mary Fritsche registers for Saturday’s Walk For Life, with assistance from Beth Criswell, left, and Holly Miller, right.
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First Bible Free Will Baptist Church of New Castle won the award for church with the most participants in Saturday’s Walk For Life. A total of 53 church members turned out for the annual event.
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Despite the rainy weather, 126 people participated in Saturday’s Walk For Life, a major fundraiser for the Henry County Pregnancy Care Center. With umbrellas up, dedicated supporters headed out for a walk around Baker Park.

By KATIE CLONTZ - kclontz@thecouriertimes.com

Umbrellas and rain jackets in tow, loyal supporters turned out Saturday for the 25th annual Walk For Life. 

A major fundraiser for the Henry County Pregnancy Care Center, Saturday’s rainy weather did little to dampen spirits. Resembling an umbrella brigade, undeterred walkers headed out of the large Baker Park shelter house to walk and support a cause they firmly believed in.

The Henry County Pregnancy Care Center, located at 415 S. Main St., Suite A, New Castle, is a nonprofit ministry that has been helping local women experiencing unplanned pregnancies since 1985. The goal of the Pregnancy Care Center is to save the lives of unborn babies and to show each client that the volunteers care about her and her child.

Director Janet Modjeski has been with the organization for 22 years. 

“This is the worst weather we’ve had,” Modjeski said Saturday. “This is serious rain. But it’s hard to cancel. You come, pledge, have a donut and some fellowship, get your shirt and move on.” 

According to Pregnancy Care Center Treasurer Phyllis Slavens, 126 walkers participated in Saturday’s event. Included in that number were representatives from 22 different churches. This year’s fundraiser generated almost $9,000. 

First Bible Free Will Baptist Church, located on Spring Street in New Castle, had 53 walkers and won the coveted Walk for Life trophy for the church with the most participants. The trophy features a tiny pair of baby shoes. 

“There’s some healthy competition, especially between churches,” Slavens explained. 

This year, the Hood Family, Andy and Jennifer, along with their sons Ezra and Eli, raised the most pledge money and were recognized for their efforts. 

Lori Bowles, a New Castle resident, was one of the First Bible Free Will Baptist walkers. This was Bowles’ first year participating in Walk For Life. When asked what made her come, Bowles answer was simple. 

“The Man upstairs,” she said. “I’m becoming more dedicated to my church.” 

Wayne Ferguson is a Sunday school teacher at First Bible Free Will Baptist who organizes the church’s participation in Walk For Life. 

“We believe in supporting life and this is one way to support the Pregnancy Care Center,” Ferguson said. 

Saturday was Knightstown resident Laura Turpin’s first time participating in Walk For Life. She was with a group from the Knightstown Friends Church. 

“I think it’s great,” Turpin said. “I’m happy to be a part of it.” 

Families who visit the Pregnancy Care Center can receive donated diapers, formula and children’s clothing. Donors also bring in high chairs, cribs, car seats and strollers.

Currently, the most critical items needed by the Pregnancy Care Center include diapers, formula and baby wipes, in that order. All size diapers are needed. 

According to Modjeski, the Henry County Pregnancy Care Center is operated by 20 volunteers and a 12-member board of directors. 

“Some of the volunteers have been with me 20 years, and that’s saying a lot,” Modjeski said. 

The Henry County Pregnancy Care Center is open from 1-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and a 24-hour telephone hotline is available. For more information, call (765) 529-7298.