Knights councils raise more than $24,000 for medical clinic ultrasound

By Benjamin Wideman | For The Compass | April 10, 2013

“We’re doing this to save lives, because every life is precious,” said Len Gatien, grand knight of Knights of Columbus Manitowoc Council 710. “The statistics are overwhelming. If a mother sees an ultrasound of her child, 90 percent choose life over abortion. And if both the mother and father see an ultrasound, 95 percent will choose life. That’s why it’s so important we get a new ultrasound for The Crossing as soon as possible.”

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Gail Broecker, left, administrative assistant at The Crossing Medical Clinic in Manitowoc, stands next to the clinic’s ultrasound machine along with Stefanie Scharenbroch, center, a nursing student at Marian University who is volunteering at the clinic, and Stacy Hass, nurse manager. The Knights of Columbus councils in Sheboygan and Manitowoc counties are raising money to purchase a new machine. (Benjamin Wideman | For The Compass)

 

The Crossing Medical Clinic is located inside the Holy Family Memorial York Street Campus building at 600 York St., Manitowoc. The clinic is affiliated with The Crossing of Manitowoc County (814 Washington St., Manitowoc), a non-profit, Christian-based organization that opened in 2006 and offers free pregnancy support services, counseling and education. Last year, The Crossing handled more than 2,000 visits from more than 500 women.

Since opening in September, The Crossing Medical Clinic has been utilizing a used ultrasound machine.

“Our ultrasound machine is more than five years old,” said Sue Tomasik, executive director of The Crossing. “So since the life expectancy of our machine is five years, every day it’s still working we say, ‘Thank you.’ It’s very important that we get a new machine. So to see how much effort the Knights are putting into this fundraiser … we’re very blessed and appreciative.”

Tomasik noted that multiple mothers who visited the clinic have chosen to save their baby after seeing ultrasound images.

The national Knights of Columbus will match the amount of funds raised by the Manitowoc and Sheboygan county councils toward the purchase of the machine itself. The national funds don’t go toward shipping or training costs, however.

Still, with those matching funds, that means at least $48,000 has been raised so far — plenty enough to offset the cost of a new ultrasound machine, which is about $30,000.

Fund-raising organizers expect that The Crossing Medical Clinic will have its new ultrasound up and running in May.

Sheboygan County doesn’t have a pregnancy center, but the Knights hope that once one gets established the additional funds that have been raised will be used to purchase another ultrasound machine for that new location.

Gary Hughes, grand knight of the Knights of Columbus Sheboygan Council 722, said the fundraiser is near and dear to his heart.

“I and the Knights speak for the unborn,” said Hughes, a Knight for 35 years. “If not us, who? We want to let people know there are other better alternatives than abortion.”

Hughes and Gatien said funds have been raised primarily from area parishes, Knights members and civic organizations.

“But we’ve even got councils outside the county donating money, which is neat to see,” he said, noting that places like Lomira and Port Washington, among others, have chipped in. Life means a lot to everyone, and helping is a way of expressing their love for life.”

Councils directly taking part in the fundraising drive include those in Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Two Rivers, Mishicot, Reedsville, Plymouth, Sheboygan Falls, Kohler and Chilton/Hilbert.

“Seeing how much money we’ve all raised, it’s amazing to know how generous people can be,” Gatien said.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the drive can send checks, addressed to Knights of Columbus Ultrasound Fund, to either: Knights of Columbus, P.O. Box 433, Manitowoc, WI 54220, or Knights of Columbus, 833 Center Ave., Sheboygan, WI 53081.

For more information about the fund-raising drive, call Hughes at (920) 458-7444. For more information about The Crossing and its medical clinic, call (920) 973-4357 or (920) 973-4346 or visit www.crossing pregnancysupport.org.

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