Mardi Gras fundraiser benefits new pregnancy center

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Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker and his wife Isabelle chat with Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann at the Kansas City Pregnancy Clinic fundraiser March 1 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas. The fundraiser included a silent auction consisting of items Butker autographed that evening. LEVEN PHOTO BY MARC ANDERSON

by Marc and Julie Anderson
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KANSAS CITY, KANSAS — There are more than 2,500 pregnancy resource centers across the country, according to Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, and collectively they have served more than half a million women, enabling them to “choose life and find a community of support.

He was addressing a crowd of some 300 people from across the archdiocese who gathered March 1 at Children’s Mercy Park, home of Sporting Kansas City, in support of one of the newest such centers – that of Kansas City Kansas Pregnancy Clinic (KCPC) founded in 2019.

Serving as the clinic’s first fundraiser, the Mardi Gras banquet featured a cocktail reception with photo opportunities with Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker. The event also included a buffet dinner with traditional New Orleans fare and a silent auction featuring items Butker autographed that evening.

Harrison Butker signs a Kansas City Chiefs helmet at the Mardi Gras banquet. LEVEN PHOTO BY MARC ANDERSON

In addition, the clinic’s volunteer executive director, Donna Kelsey, presented Knights of Columbus state deputy Jamey Roth with an award for supporting her organization. Nationwide, the Knights have provided 1,500 ultrasound scanners to pregnancy resource centers, including more than two dozen in Kansas, one of which was the dedicated clinic ultrasound scanner Oct. 9, 2021.

Kelsey explained in her remarks how she and husband Ron came out of retirement in 2019 after Planned Parenthood unveiled plans to start an abortion clinic in Kansas City, Kansas. The couple have made it their mission to help foster a culture of life within society.

“It’s our passion and it’s our mission in life to do something for the unborn every day,” Donna said.

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker and his wife Isabelle attended the Mardi Gras banquet to support the pro-life cause. LEVEN PHOTO BY MARC ANDERSON

The couple’s engagement spans decades.

Ron had worked as a consultant for the Archdiocesan Pro-Life Office since 2005, until his retirement in 2016. During his tenure, he helped establish three Pregnancy Resource Centers in the Archdiocese – Wyandotte Pregnancy Clinic, Olathe Pregnancy Clinic, and Mary’s Choices in Topeka.

When Ron learned in 2019 of Planned Parenthood’s intentions to open a clinic in the Kansas City area, he began to mobilize a grassroots effort against the organization. Although their efforts had the lease revoked, to the knowledge of the couple, the organization still plans to open a clinic.

Donna Kelsey speaks at the Mardi Gras banquet. LEVEN PHOTO BY MARC ANDERSON

“One evening, late at night, I woke up and Ron is sitting there with an insightful look. He said, “I’m 90% sure we need to open another pregnancy clinic,” Donna said.

In partnership with others throughout the region, the couple helped found the clinic in the Mercy and Truth Medical Mission building on September 8, 2019. The clinic opened on July 1, 2020 and offers pregnancy testing; ultrasounds; abortion education; adoption and parenting options; tips; community referrals; and a baby room full of clothes, diapers, and formula. Free services are offered in English or Spanish.

Isabelle and Harrison Butker psoe for a photo with Bishop Naumann. LEVEN PHOTO BY MARC ANDERSON

“We serve so many different women, Donna said. “Women who have been trafficked, women who have been abused, women who are just alone. They are afraid. They are terrified. . . . Society allowed these women to abort. . . . We are there to accompany them in this decision, and we do it in different ways. We can just sit down and visit them. We have a video they can watch. We have models they can remember and we can explain things to them. It’s our job. We don’t want them to come back to us and say, ‘You didn’t tell me.’ So we want to answer all the questions they have about their pregnancy.

Towards the end of the evening, Donna invited everyone to join the clinic by making a donation, emphasizing that everyone can make a difference.

“When we save a baby, you helped us save a baby,” she said.

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