COLORADO SPRINGS. Life Network’s 2020 Walk for Life looked a little different from previous years, but our “Catholics 4 Life Network” team stepped out in faith and raised over $52,000 in support of the agency. COVID-19 restrictions required Life Network to get creative with their annual fundraising walk, so they took the walk virtual. Since we couldn’t gather at Memorial Park, walkers and runners were encouraged to map a two-mile course in their neighborhoods or nearby recreation areas and trails and then walk or run on June 6 wherever they were.
Catholics 4 Life Network, comprising families and individuals from around the Diocese of Colorado Springs, was the number one fundraising team out of 49 teams. This is the third year we’ve placed first of the teams, raising over $37,000 in 2018, over $45,000 in 2019, and over $52,000 this year.
Our team included individuals, families, and parishes. Members of our team also placed in the top 20 of individual fundraisers, including the Simmons family (St. Paul), Father Gregory Golyzniak (St. Peter in Monument), Father Gregory Bierbaum (St. Mark in Highlands Ranch), Franki Lang (St. Michael in Calhan), and the Klazura family (St. Peter in Monument).
Our team got creative as well. A small group walked along the Santa Fe Trail, several others walked in Winter Park, and one family walked with their new grandbaby in South Bend, Indiana.
Over 600 individuals and families registered as fundraising walkers this year, which is almost as many as 2019 when there were no restrictions. Over 4500 individuals sponsored these walkers, raising over $350,000 to date.
Funds raised will support the amazing work done by Life Network.
Following is a pretty comprehensive list of their programs, but my favorite fact about their recent work is that, between 2016 and 2019, the number of free ultrasounds LifeNetwork provided to women in unplanned pregnancies rose from 455 to 785. When an abortion-minded woman meets her unborn child via ultrasound, she is much more likely to choose life for that child than if she doesn’t have that opportunity (Life Network reports 89% choose life). And Life Network walks alongside those women through every step of their pregnancy and through the first years of their baby’s life, providing material, emotional, and spiritual support.
How does the Walk for Life help our community?
The funds raised from this year’s Walk for Life will help continue life-affirming programs that make a difference in the lives of over 15,000 individuals in our community by providing free services that include:
— Pregnancy tests and options counseling
— STD testing
— Baby and maternity clothing
— Parenting education and classes
— Emergency baby supplies
— Post-abortion recovery groups
— Education on sexual integrity and risk-avoidance
— Teen suicide prevention and awareness
To watch the video of the Walk for Life livestream event, go to www.walkforlife.com. For more information about Life Network, their work and their particular needs, go to elifenetwork.com.
If you want to join the Catholics 4 Life Network team for the 2021 Walk for Life, mark your calendar for June 5, 2021, and watch the Herald and your parish bulletin for more information.
(Julie Bailey is director of the Respect Life Apostolate of the Diocese of Colorado Springs.)