The third annual fundraising reception held by the Bella Vita Pregnancy Resource Center drew a large crowd, packing the Nancy J. Dembowski Community Center in Knox as the organization thanked those who helped it grow into the resource it is today. Tracey DeGraaf of Shine.FM was the MC for the event and introduced Father Richard Holy, pastor of the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church who led the assembly in a prayer.
The “Signs of a Savior” worship team from Bible Baptist Church performed a sign language interpretive dance to the song “How Great is Our God,” before Director Susanne N. Lange introduced the board of directors, including Board Chair Kathy Dedloff, Secretary Rhonda Adcock, Treasurer Laura Raczkowski, Michelle Barnhart, and pastors Jim Pradke, David Putz, and Rick Holy.
Lange then addressed the crowd and explained the mission of Bella Vita, stating the agency is a “Christ-centered organization that empowers women and men to make life-affirming choices about unexpected pregnancies, sexual integrity, and recover from post-abortion trauma.” Lange also thanked the organization’s volunteers for the countless hours they devoted to the center.
Lange said that the organization is looking to the future with a number of projects in the works, the largest one of which involves a move to a new building in downtown Knox. The center recently purchased the Starke United building from the Starke United Board of Directors at a cost of $1, because their current building does not have the necessary space for the organization to function as they would like to. The new building, however, provides the organization with the opportunity to offer a medical clinic with an ultrasound machine.
Lange said the organization is hoping to be moved in by the end of fall, thanks to the tireless efforts of community volunteers.