SLEEPY EYE - First Choice Pregnancy Services celebrated their 3rd annual banquet on Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Eagles Orchid Inn in Sleepy Eye. With nearly 200 people in attendance, the evening included dinner, a silent auction, recognition of this year's recipients of the Heroes for Life Award, and the featured speaker, Ann Marie Cosgrove.
The recipients of the Heroes for Life Award were Brad and Jackie Finstad of New Ulm. The award is given to individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to the sanctity of human life, by both assisting with the Center, and participating in other pro-life activities. Brad's work on pro-life issues while in the State Legislature, especially making grants available for pregnancy resource centers, was acknowledged, along with the key roles both he and Jackie played in getting First Choice Pregnancy Services established.
Although she lives in Minneapolis, Cosgrove has been connected to First Choice Pregnancy Services since before it started offering services to the Brown County area. As a supporter of pregnancy resource centers (PRC), Cosgrove looked for a PRC needing furniture when she had some that needed a home. She found out that First Choice Pregnancy Services was getting ready to open in New Ulm, so she donated most of the furniture that is in the office.
Jackie and Brad Finstad
Cosgrove is the founder of Silent No More Minnesota, an organization which helps women and men who have suffered because of an abortion speak out about their pain and get the help they need to heal. She told the audience of her experience with abortion, of the resulting pain and suffering, and how she found healing and forgiveness through the mercy of God. She said that she wishes there would have been a PRC in her community because maybe she would have made different choices if there had been support.
The annual banquet is the largest fundraising activity for First Choice Pregnancy Services, a 501(c)3 organization offering life-affirming choices and resources to women and families before, during and after pregnancy.