DAVISON TWP. — Dr. Alveda King, niece of slain Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, was the keynote speaker, May 16, at the Colonial Valley Suites during the first Impact Pregnancy Resource Center benefit dinner.
The banquet hall was filled with people interested in helping to raise funds for the center. They were treated to a full meal, singing, and a speech by King.
The resource center opened on the north end of Flint in January. The director, Yvonne Penton, sought to open the center when she saw in her 12 years of working with battered and pregnant women that most of them came from the north side.
The Knights of Colombus, who were also one of the sponsors for the banquet, renovated the building that was obtained for the center and donated an ultrasound machine.
Penton said that the purpose of the center is to provide potential mothers with the support and resources they need to effectively care for and raise children, to present an alternative to aborting the child.
“What we’re trying to do is show them that there is control. And that’s what life is all about. Choices,” said Penton. “And we try to provide them with life choices they can live with.”
The center provides parenting classes, classes about the reproductive cycle, ultrasounds, and supplies for the parents to utilize. They can also connect parents with a health center for low income families to get a gynecologist and prenatals, as well as refer parents to foster care.
Penton said there are some negative attitudes about adoption that make it seem unattractive to prospective parents.
“Somehow they equate adoption with slavery,” she said.
Penton said oftentimes mothers feel as if putting their child into the system results in a loss of control, which isn’t necessarily the case.
Some 140 tickets were sold to the event. All the proceeds went toward the cost of operating the resource center and keeping it open. The event’s major sponsors were the Kingdom of Heaven Ministries, the Knights of Columbus, and Flint Right to Life.
King, a pastoral associate and director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life, said she was pleased by what she saw in her time in the area.
“I never get tired of being blessed by seeing people having a helping hand extended to them,” said King. “There’s something very encouraging about that.”
The Impact Pregnancy Resource Center is located at 2585 Lavelle Rd., Flint.
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