PARKERSBURG - About 150 people were greeted by 40-degree temperatures and fog Saturday morning for the 14th annual Walk For Life in City Park.
"The walk is important for two things," said Janet Kimes, director of the Women's Care Center of Parkersburg and Marietta. "The walk is used to celebrate life by raising support for the center and is our second largest fundraiser every year."
The walk, a two-lap venue around the park, was expected to raise $50,000 for the non-profit organization. The walk raised $541,000 since it began 14 years ago, Kimes said.
Walk for Life
"All of the proceeds go to the center to allow us to provide pregnancy-related services," Kimes said.
The Christian-based ministry offers free and confidential services such as pregnancy testing, obstetrical ultrasound and emotional support as well as physician referrals and recovery programs.
"Our services are not only for unplanned pregnancies, but also planned pregnancies," Kimes said.
Photo by Jolene Craig
Balloons are released prior to the 15th annual Walk for Life Saturday in City Park. The event is the largest fundraiser for the Women’s Care Center in Parkersburg and Marietta. The balloons were representative of babies born in the Mid-Ohio Valley in the last year with the help of the center; the pink balloons represent the girls, the blue balloons represented the boys and the white balloons represented the babies aborted.
Kimes said that with the walk being the center's largest fundraising event, every donation counts.
"Know, please, that what we are doing is so very, very important to people," she said.
Not only does the center work with women during their pregnancies, but also post-natal care for the children, including formula, clothes and adoption.
- More than 150 people walked in the 15th annual Walk for Life Saturday morning at City Park.
- The walk raised $541,000 in its first 14 years with hopes of raising $50,000 this year.
- All proceeds go to the Women's Care Center in Parkersburg and Marietta for pregnancy-related support and care.
"We have helped see three babies adopted this year," Kimes said.
Two of those babies, both girls, were adopted by local couples who could not give their last names because they are still in adoption process.
"Without the donations the Women's Care Center wouldn't have been around and my wife and I wouldn't have our little girl," said Hans.
He and his wife Susan are now parents to infant Emma.
Brenda, who with her husband Keith are adopting infant Jana, spoke of meeting her daughter's birth mother in a lawyer's office.
"She is my hero," Brenda said. "She carried our greatest blessing when I could not."