Supporters gathered on May 8 to ceremoniously break ground for the new Relevant Pregnancy Options Center in Highland, which will be located at 2653 Plaza Drive.
Relevant is a pro-life, not-for-profit organization that provides a number of services to parents experiencing an unplanned pregnancy. Among other services, the center offers pre-and after-birth support, parenting classes, for mothers and fathers and post-abortion counseling.
“It’s much more than giving out diapers and formula,” Highland Mayor Joe Michaelis said during his speech at the groundbreaking. “It’s about life-changing decisions that are going to be very, very important, not just to their clients, but to their families as well.”
This has been a long time coming.
Tricia Blasdel, executive director of Relevant Pregnancy Options Center
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It was about a year ago that the organization started a plan to raise $350,000 to build a new facility, which was inspired by a drastic increase in clientele. According to the Relevant Board of Directors President Paul Dunker, in 2016 the center had 2,335 walk-in visits, and its former location on Pine Street was not meeting the organization’s needs. So Relevant initiated a plan to relocate and rebuild.
However, what had been a three-year plan became a mad dash after the center was told by its landlord it would need to relocate in just a few months, near the end of last year.
The center asked the community for help. Relevant started to receive various forms of donations, including the two lots on which to build, donated by Pete and Jane Korte, owners of Korte & Luitjohan Contractors in Highland.
It’s much more than giving out diapers and formula.
Highland Mayor Joe Michaelis
“We put this in God’s hands three or four months ago, and from that point forward, things have just come together,” Dunker said.
The center also received monetary donations equal to almost 75 percent of the construction cost, and the Highland City Council waived $7,600 worth of fees to help the development of the new site.
“What makes a good community? I think each of us would have our own specific definitions or criteria in our minds,” Michaelis said. “What makes a great community? I think that definition starts narrowing quite a bit. A great community offers great services, and there is not a better offer of great services than what Relevant Pregnancy Care Center has offered this community now for a number of years.”
In just a few months, the center will make its seventh move in its more than two decades of existence its permanent home.
“That first baby that was helped is probably almost 22 years old today,” said Tricia Blasdel, the center’s executive director. “Maybe he or she is graduating from college or starting their own family. We have seen many lives transform from that negative family chain, and it is now broken so future generations can have a better life.”
We put this in God’s hands three or four months ago, and from that point forward, things have just come together.
Paul Dunker, Relevant Board of Directors president
According to Blasdel, weather permitting, Relevant is hoping to move into its new facility at the end of the summer.
“This has been a long time coming,” Blasdel said.
Until the new building is completed, Relevant will be located at the former Wallpapers Ready To Go-Custom Interiors location at 207 Suppiger Lane, Suite 100, in Highland.