Heart Choices Annual Banquet – March 21, 2023

By Terry Bailey

The Heart Choices Pregnancy and Parenting Resource Center held their 21st Annual Banquet Tuesday night, March 21st, at the Beloit Municipal Building. Emcee Curt Frazier, as he opened the evening's festivities, commented, "This looks to be the most people I have ever seen at one of these banquets." He was certainly speaking to a standing room only house.
Alice Thompson, executive director of the organization, reviewed the year's activities for those in attendance. First, Thompson recognized the organization's Board of Directors who were: Craig Gengler, President; Jerry Buser, Vice President; Nancy Rush, Secretary; Renee Gengler, Treasurer; Glenda Rothchild and Crystal Paredes.
Thompson reviewed the mission statement of the organization, "To empower as many individuals as possible in the North Central Kansas area to make healthy choices related to their sexuality, childbearing, and parenting, consistent with the sanctity of human life."
Thompson gave great credit to office staff and volunteers who make everything possible. She listed the following who contribute great to the mission of Heart Choices: Rachel Ducote, Program Director and Osborne Site Manager; Donnise Underhill, Parent Education and Concordia Site Manager; Karrie Wiles, Office Manager; Amy Timmons, Parent Educator; and Maryclara Joyce, Operations Volunteer.
Thompson also credited the medical staff with helping the organization serve the many clients. Heading the medical staff is Dr. Christine Marozas and RN's Krista Bryant, Carol Cordel and Christine Schamberger.
Thompson reviewed the client services offered in 2022. One hundred sixteen clients were served with 569 client visits. During the course of the year 58 pregnancy tests were administered with 50 ultrasounds being performed.
In her remarks Thompson noted that while this was the organization's 21st annual banquet it was the first one since the revoking of the Roe vs. Wade decision. Folks across the country had great hopes that the overturning of the Roe decision would lead to many states following suit. Some have and some have not. Thompson noted Constitutional Amendment disallowing abortions in Kansas last fall was defeated. She also reported that there has been 36% increase in abortions performed in Kansas. Thompson also reported that abortion pills produced overseas and marketed online has increased.
She reported of one person commenting that with the overturning of Roe, there will not be a need for places like Heart Choices. Thompson said that places like Heart Choices will in greater need.
Thompson reminded everyone that the Beloit office is located at Sixth and Independence Avenue. The is no income guidelines and all their service are free.
Thompson said Heart Choices and friends will continue to lobby the Kansas State Legislature urging the passing of anti-abortion legislation not only in Kansas but to affect surrounding states.
The evening's entertainment was provided by Mark Schultz who provided a powerful message both in word and in song. Many folks experienced the power of his several offerings. Schultz was born and adopted at two days old and grew up in Colby, Kansas. It was obvious he had a big heart for the mission of Heart Choices.