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PREGNANCY CENTER TRIES TO OFFER MORE SERVICES

Officials hope annual fundraiser will help them buy new equipment.

For one new mother, the West Pasco Pregnancy Center has been a source of encouragement, a source of help and, most of all, supportive throughout her pregnancy.

"They have been so helpful, especially with the economy the way it is," said the mother, who is not being identified. "They really care. They gave me maternity clothes, now baby clothes, diapers, wipes and advice."

On Nov. 6 at 7 p.m., the center's fourth annual Champions of Life fundraising banquet is scheduled at the Spartan Manor, 6121 Massachusetts Ave. in New Port Richey.

"We survive on donations and fundraisers," said Marion Bauer, the center's executive director. "This is our biggest fundraiser of the year."

The guest speaker this year is Hollywood entertainer and impressionist Fred Travalena, who received his Hollywood star in 2005.

On a recent CBN television show, the 700 Club, Travelena talked about his Web site, www.babiesareimportant.com. He is happy to be appearing at the center's fundraiser, he said in a telephone interview.

The West Pasco Pregnancy Center reaches out to the community in many ways and with its limited medical clinic isable to do obstetrical ultrasounds for early pregnancy detection.

"A picture is worth a 1,000 words and we are able to do it with sonography," said Bauer.

Center staff members also are able to answer questions about pregnancy.

Other services the center offers include pregnancy testing, confidential counseling, classes for pre-natal and newborn care combined with material assistance, childbirth classes, parenting programs, life-skill programs, post-abortion counseling, adoption support, STD/abstinence education and community referrals.

All the services are free.

Right now, Bauer says the center is in dire need of volunteers to expand operating hours. A background in nursing would be helpful, but anyone can help. Training will be provided, she said.

"We also need more sonographers and a new ultrasound machine," she said. "We are blessed to get ours that was donated a while ago, but it is a bit older, a dinosaur and needs a lot of TLC to keep it running."

In January, the center plans to add a program for new fathers.

"We want to prepare them for the challenges they will face," said Bauer.

If you go

Champions for Life banquet

The West Pasco Pregnancy Center's fourth annual Champions of Life fundraising banquet is at 7 p.m. Nov. 6 at Spartan Manor, 6121 Massachusetts Ave. in New Port Richey. Cost of the banquet is $25 per person and tickets can be purchased by calling (727) 846-9999 or at the center, 5330 George St., New Port Richey

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