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Choices Pregnancy Care Center celebrates 2014 achievements at annual gala
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Joel Williams, master of ceremonies, introduces the keynote speaker at the Choices Pregnancy Care Center 27th annual Gala Fundraiser on Thursday at First Baptist Church in Gainesville. - photo by Erin O. Smith

Choices Pregnancy Care Center
Gainesville center: 434 Green St. Place, Gainesville
Flowery Branch center: 4591 Winder Highway, Flowery Branch
Contact: 24-hour hotline 770-535-1245
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Last year, 33 lives were saved in Northeast Georgia with the help of Choices Pregnancy Care Center.

The center celebrated this achievement at its annual Gala Fundraising Evening on Thursday at First Baptist Church’s banquet hall in Gainesville.

“We fight for our clients every day when we open our doors,” said Executive Director Ann Gainey. “... Tomorrow morning we’re going to be opening our doors to do our job, but we’re going to be doing our job tomorrow because tonight, you’re going to do your job.”

The fundraising evening included live music, dinner and comments from several speakers, including video testimonies from Choices Pregnancy Care Center clients.

Aisha Blackwell and her husband, Timothy Blackwell, were present with their three children. The Blackwells shared their story of becoming unexpectedly pregnant with their first son. Aisha Blackwell credited the center for helping her and her family cope during that time.

“I want to thank everybody that is here,” Aisha Blackwell said. “But most importantly tonight I want to give a special thanks to the fathers here in this room. Too many times you all don’t get enough recognition. As mothers, we have a hard job ... but fathers, you all are a big part of the family and an important part of the family.”

The keynote speaker was Kirk Walden, author and founder of LifeTrends, which serves more than 700 pregnancy help ministries.

Walden said he has been involved with pregnancy centers since the 1990s, when he served as executive director of Women’s Hope Medical Clinic in Auburn, Ala. Since then, he has traveled the world, celebrating and supporting pregnancy centers.

“I believe we can see abortion obsolete and ended in the next 10 years,” Walden said to applause.

Walden said pregnancy centers have to become the “first choice” for women and men considering more than one choice for their child.

In 1980, there were more than 2,000 abortion centers in the U.S., according to Walden, and approximately 200 pregnancy centers. Today, there are more than 2,500 pregnancy ministries and approximately 786 abortion centers.

Last year, Choices Pregnancy Care Center served 1,533 clients, performed 242 ultrasounds, rescued 33 children from abortion and led 131 people to Christianity. Since 1987, the center has served more than 34,000 clients.

Gainey said the center works to provide proactive services, including parent seminars and sexual integrity programs in schools, as well as reactive services, which include pregnancy tests, a 24-hour helpline, sexually transmitted disease tests, support groups, post-abortion support and much more.

Gainey said the pregnancy center brings joy not only to its clients, but to its employees as well.

“I have seen God do the coolest things,” Gainey said. “Because that’s what God does. That happens to be his job, and it is fun to go to work every day.”