Walk for Life rally set

Published 10:33 pm Friday, February 25, 2011

At left, walkers set out on the route at last year’s Suffolk Walk for Life. Above, participants show off their signs they made for the event.

The Crisis Pregnancy Center of Tidewater is gearing up for its Walk for Life fundraisers throughout the Hampton Roads region. The organization will hold a pre-walk rally next week for people interested in participating.

One of the walks will be held April 16 in downtown Suffolk. The other events are April 9 in Virginia Beach and April 30 in Norfolk.

“We’re really excited about the Walk for Life,” said Desiree Gaul, communications manager for Crisis Pregnancy Center. “It’s one of our biggest events of the year.”

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The Crisis Pregnancy Center offers a variety of medical, practical and counseling services to support women dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. One location is in Suffolk at 302 N. Main St.

“Our goal is to empower these women so, regardless of their choice, they can make an informed decision,” Gaul said. “We’re just here to walk alongside them during that process.”

About five years ago, Gaul said, the Hampton Roads area had the highest rate of abortions in the state. Since CPC opened a medical clinic in Norfolk, the rate has declined — but the organization’s work is far from done.

More than 8,000 abortions are performed each year just in South Hampton Roads, Gaul said. That’s about one abortion for every two babies born.

“We’re continually seeing more clients every year,” Gaul said. In 2010, the organization served more than 1,600 clients.

The Walk for Life is a fun way to support the work of the organization and help raise money for its work.

This year’s theme is “Rescue,” and the Chesapeake fire department will pitch in with a fire truck and ambulance for the children to discover. Participants are encouraged to form teams for the event.

The organization has set a goal of 1,000 sponsored walkers to be part of the walk events.

The walks kick off March 5 at 9 a.m. with a pre-walk rally at River Oak Church, 255 Great Bridge Blvd. in Chesapeake.

“It’s a unique time to just get excited and get ready to be involved,” Gaul said.

For more information on the walks or the Crisis Pregnancy Center, visit www.cpcfriends.org or call 410-9703.