People young and old gathered to support Pregnancy Life Center's Walk for Life. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)
People young and old gathered to support Pregnancy Life Center's Walk for Life. (DHI Media/Jim Langham)

Times Bulletin Correspondent

VAN WERT ­— A large group gathered at Franklin Park on Sunday for the 2 p.m. annual, “Walk for Life.” The event is a fundraiser for the PLC Health Clinic in Van Wert. In addition to those attending in person, the park was surrounded by placards announcing a large group of area businesses supporting the walk. The September “walk” and the spring banquet are the two main fundraisers for the clinic, said Jody Wannemacher.

“We are walking to raise awareness of the work that we do,” continued Wannemacher. “God tells us in Psalm 139:16 that He knew us and had a place for us before we were formed. ‘Little life, big story;’ we want people to know that all babies have a story.”

It was three months ago when Lisa Rodman heard Wannemacher speak about the clinic and her concern for unborn babies and mothers. She said it was the first time she had heard the extent of the clinic’s concerns.

“I cried through her entire talk,” said Rodman, who has been eager for the walk.

“I said, ‘I’ve got to do more than pray,’” continued Rodman, as she shared her realization of involvement.

“We’ve got to do something to help these mothers keep their babies,” said Rodman, who raised $540 for the event.

“My goal was to raise $300 but look how God blessed,” she said.

Clinic board vice president Rich Spridgeon said that God spoke to him concerning his involvement with the clinic through the birth of his own children.

“As I grew as a father in faith, the priority ties took over,” emphasized Spridgeon. “I felt God leading me to be part of the PLC Clinic. I prayed and told God that He could do with me as He wanted next. This has been a real blessing to me in my life.”

Spridgeon said that the clinic is a non-profit organization that is supported by many area businesses, churches and partnership with private individuals.

“I am so thrilled how community-minded the people of Van Wert are,” said Spridgeon. “We want to provide a safe place for young teen moms and fathers where they can come for support and medical attention.”

“If God’s people don’t stand up for the unborn, who will,” said Whitney Webster. “My family and I are really behind this. We are so grateful to everyone for this. We are thankful for our community showing up financially and for the hundreds who are here today.”

Katelyn Callow, president of the clinic board, noted that she originally did ultrasounds for a living. Then, for a while, she was a “stay at home mom.”

“God told me that I needed to use my gifts and talents for him so I got involved with clinic,” said Callow. “After three years, they said, ‘you are a person with talents and leadership, why don’t you become president?’

“The Bible said that in the beginning God created. He created us,” added Callow. “He has created all of the beings (babies) in His own image. He wants us to share His love with them. What a privilege it is to care for the babies.”

Trisha Martin, who manages Genx Training Studio, said on Sunday that she was involved with the clinic walk as a way of giving back for all that they had done for her in her time of need.

“They were there to help me in my time of need,” said Martin. “I want to give back for all that they have done for the community.”

Wannemacher advised that the clinic is in the beginning stages of making plans for a maternity home for pregnant women who have no place to go. She said that it is shocking to realize how many homeless pregnant women there are in Van Wert.

“God has a plan for them, not necessary our but for His plan,” said Wannemacher. “His plan for us is to do the work in the community to let them know we are there for them.”

“We want all the women that walk through our doors to feel loved and cared about when they come in,” said clinic manager Staci Yenser. “It doesn’t matter what they have done or what situation they are in. We want them to feel loved and know that we are there to help them and meet their needs.”