By Bob Otto
YUCAIPA – Without this major event, some pregnant women and girls and their babies would be left to struggle on their own.
People walking in groups, moms pushing strollers, laughing children jogging and jostling one another, couples strolling with their dogs on leashes, and even two young men carrying a cross, circled the track Sunday at Yucaipa High School Stadium.
It was all for a good cause: to raise money for the Yucaipa Valley Pregnancy Counseling Center through its annual Walk for Life.
“This is our major fundraiser,” said Linda Brown, director of the center. “We’re having a good turnout, better than last year. People are giving what they can. They’re saying that they love and support what we do.”
Without the money raised by the Walk for Life, the center would have a difficult time providing the support that pregnant women and girls need in the way of counseling and baby’s goods for their newborns, officials said.
Some of the YVPCC many services include:Free pregnancy testing Maternity clothes Baby clothes
Baby furniture, as available
Information/referral for state aid medical assistanceAdoption information and referrals Post-adoption counseling
Just how important is Walk for Life?
“Last September, we saw 40 girls at the counseling center,” Brown said. “This September, we saw 91 girls.”
On hand was Yucaipa Mayor Dick Riddell.
“The Yucaipa Valley Pregnancy Counseling Center does a real good job,” Riddell said. “It’s for the children, and to protect the unborn who are in greatest need of our protection. And they counsel those who chose to have an abortion.”
The stadium rocked with music and the laughter of children and adults playing games and trying to win raffle prizes.
Face painting, bowling, ring tosses, bunco and a Winnie the Pooh jumper kept youngsters busy and happy. Dads and their sons and daughters played a little football.
After 6-year-old Seth Punongbayan caught a pass from his dad, Gerry, he jumped up and down in celebration.
Father and son were having a great time playing on the smooth, green, soft carpet of the stadium’s football field.
“This is our third time at Walk for Life,” said Gerry Punongbayan. “What they do is so much needed. They offer so much to those teens who become pregnant not knowing what to do. And they offer the comfort to those who have gone through abortion. They are very accepting – an open-arms organization.”
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