Highland News Leader

Highland pregnancy center needs $350K before December due date

Relevant Pregnancy Option Center Executive Director Tricia Blasdel stands outside their current facility located at 410 A Pine Street in Highland. The center is trying to raise $350,000 by the end of the year in order to purchase a new facility for their growing clientele list.
Relevant Pregnancy Option Center Executive Director Tricia Blasdel stands outside their current facility located at 410 A Pine Street in Highland. The center is trying to raise $350,000 by the end of the year in order to purchase a new facility for their growing clientele list. amcdonald@bnd.com

Relevant Pregnancy Options Center in Highland has less than two months to raise nearly $350,000 before the end of the year or risk downgrading the facility it currently calls home.

The pro-life center offers support to those facing an unplanned pregnancy.

“If someone is pressuring the girl to have an abortion, but doesn’t know what to do, we talk about the procedures, risks and long-term side effects,” said Relevant Pregnancy Option Center executive director Tricia Blasdel. “We want her to make an informed choice. We would ultimately like her to choose life for her baby, but that’s her choice. We just give the facts.”

Relevant Pregnancy Options Center, formerly known as the Highland Pregnancy Care Center, has been a part of the community for 22 years. It started in a room a little bigger than a closet at the old St. Joseph’s Hospital. It moved five other times before landing at 410A Pine St. in Highland seven years ago.

We want to stay in Highland. Our community is very, very generous.

Tricia Blasdel, executive director of Relevant Pregnancy Options Center

In March, the center launched what it thought was going to be a three-year campaign to raise $350,000 for a new, bigger facility.

“Our client list has tripled in the past five years,” said Blasdel.

However, that timetable was accelerated recently after the center’s landlord said his company needed to reclaim the space to meet the demands of his own growing business.

“They are wonderful tenants. Their needs and ours have worked well together, and we hate to have this happen,” said Scott Wick, president of Wicks Aircraft, which is under the same roof as the center. “We are very supportive of their cause. We need that space, and they said they needed a bigger space, so the decision was timely. Their needs are changing, and we can’t give them what they need.”

Right now, the center has raised $76,703 toward its goal. A letter was sent out to potential donors on Oct. 7, which generated $27,000, but that still leaves the center far short.

It’s important people know we don’t get government help. We are totally, 100 percent supported by churches, individuals and businesses.

Tricia Blasdel, executive director of Relevant Pregnancy Options Center

According to the letter, the center has looked at six different properties in Highland and a “suitable building for its ministry” is in the neighborhood of $350,000, plus remodeling costs.

“We have diligently been looking (for money), but when you’re a nonprofit, you don’t have a lot of money in savings. That’s just what nonprofits do. It’s made us have to rush a little bit,” Blasdel said. “There are many ways people can give. Right now, farmers are in harvest, so they could donate part of their crops. That would also be a tax write-off.”

She’s hoping that the upcoming holiday season might be the final push they need to meet their goal.

“People are looking for tax write-offs at the end of the year. Don’t forget us when you’re looking for places for charitable giving. That would be a write-off, too,” Blasdel said. “It’s important people know we don’t get government help. We are totally, 100 percent supported by churches, individuals and businesses.”

Even though the time is against them, Blasdel said she hasn’t lost hope, and her faith is a huge reason for that.

“Our ultimate goal is to share Christ and let people know Jesus changes lives,” she said. “We want to stay in Highland. Our community is very, very generous.”

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