The fourth annual Banquet of Life and Silent Auction benefiting the Foundations of Life – Pasco County was held on October 3rd at Tampa Bay Golf and Country Club in San Antonio, just outside Dade City.
The event kicked-off with a cocktail hour, during which the guests were able to mingle, chat, and bid on the over 60 donated silent auction items. After introductory remarks by the nights’ Master of Ceremonies, Professor Thomas Humphries, and an Invocation by the new St. Anthony of Padua Parish (San Antonio) Pastor, Reverend Garry Walsh, the guests filled the banquet room to feast on a delicious buffet meal which mixed hearty American fare (chicken, mashed potatoes and veggies) with a well-known Cuban dessert (flan – Spanish custard pudding).
The “business” portion of the evening was kicked off by Ms. Rose Llauget, Director of the Foundations of Life, who shared the many successes – including lives saved, new ultrasound equipment purchased, and more – made possible by the generosity of the many supporters of Catholic Charities and the Foundations of Life pregnancy centers. Angelica Herrera, the Pasco/Dade City center manager, then introduced this year’s client speaker, Elizabeth, who shared a heartbreaking story of sexual abuse at the hands of her own father and ultimate pregnancy with his child. Through it all, including a boyfriend who left her, she resolutely refused to bow to pressure to abort the baby, and even though she was ostracized by her family, she gave birth to her child and is now happily married with two children, including a new infant! Catholic Charities was there for her in her hour of need with emotional and spiritual support as well as material support (e.g., diapers, formula, etc.).
Following up Elizabeth’s emotional story, the featured speaker, Ms. Amy Ford, a mother of three from Texas, was up to the challenge as she described a somewhat similar journey (without the incestuous sexual abuse) of making the decision to keep her child, and then through the ordeal of judgment from families and friends, becoming strong in her faith and strong enough to advocate for the pro-life movement. Blank has become a well-known, nationally recognized, speaker on the pro-life circuit and lifted the audience up from the heartbreak of Client’s story to a place of hope and optimism for the future; one where our fellow Americans share our concern for the unborn and join us to end the scourge of abortion in our nation.
With the crowd energized and passionate, and critical funds raised, the Catholic Charities team at Foundations of Life – Pasco pregnancy center can continue to fulfill the mission of helping women who are dealing with unplanned pregnancies make the decision to have the child and then with their needs during the pregnancy and after the child’s birth.