By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
BETTENDORF — Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, members of Knights of Columbus Loras Council 532 in Davenport have been raising funds and collecting items for the Women’s Choice Center.
On Jan. 21, the day before the anniversary of the Roe v Wade and Doe v Bolton Supreme Court decisions in 1973 that legalized abortion, the Knights presented a check for $28,000 to the pro-life center. Rick Willows, Grand Knight of the Loras Council, said the check included matching funds from the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council for a new ultrasound machine.
The Women’s Choice Center has ordered a 4D ultrasound machine to be delivered in four to six weeks. The center currently has two ultrasound machines, said Executive Director Linda Rubey. One is at the center and the other is inside the mobile unit “Grace.” “This will allow us to increase our capacity in the number of women we serve,” Rubey said. “This is the perfect opportunity for us.”
Additional nursing staff and ultrasound technicians will be needed, she noted.
Those gathered for the presentation were Willows, Rubey, Shawn Atwater, chancellor and community program director for the Loras Council; Vern Vondera, life chairman for the Loras Council and state life director; and Father Scott Foley, parochial vicar of Our Lady of Victory Parish in Davenport.
They met in a room used for various classes and training sessions, such as birthing classes. When women completed the classes, the Christ Child Society provided infant car seats for newborns.
Atwater said Father Jake Greiner, pastor of Our Lady of Victory, “allowed our council to raise funds even though there was a capital campaign going on and the pandemic. He is a champion for us and for life.”
Willows said a baby bottle campaign raised $8,000 alone. He, Atwater and Rubey laughed at the story behind that drive. “We ordered baby bottles online. I thought they were the big ones (typical size for formula). But they were doll size,” Atwater said. He sent a text Rubey, who told him that the center had a bunch of baby bottles intended for a fundraiser that were not being used because of the pandemic. “God was at work,” Rubey said.
The Loras Council also collected 19,528 diapers and 43,046 baby wipes for the center. Donations from primarily Our Lady of Victory parishioners generated $3,200 in cash. “We were collecting diapers, and people also brought food and financial donations,” he noted. “We are marveled by the response,” Atwater said.
The Loras Council plans to continue raising funds and collecting items for the center.
“We appreciate everyone’s support,” Rubey said.