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Agency uses fun event to raise funds, awareness
Choices of the Heart aims to help women, families handle crisis pregnancies
W CHOICES FUNDRAISER 1
Hillary Zeigler dances after picking up a spare while bowling at The Clubhouse with the Fletcher Memorial Baptist Church youth group during Thursday's fundraiser for Choices of the Heart Pregnancy Center. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

      Bouncing around the bowling alley, running through laser tag and tearing up the arcade, the Choices of the Heart Pregnancy Center focused on a night of fun and relaxation with family at The Clubhouse. 
      But the gathering Thursday also was the Center’s first annual “Bowling for Babies Family Fun Night” to raise money and awareness for the service agency.
      “We wanted to raise funds, but more than anything, raise awareness that we are here for young women, and men, during an unplanned pregnancy situation,” said Tammy Olliff, executive director of Choices of the Heart. “We want to raise awareness with this fundraiser because no one knows when they will need our support.”
      With a night at the Clubhouse, the organization offered Center members and anyone donating to the agency a chance for all the games at the venue and door prizes, which included gift certificates to 180 Fitness, Healthy Touch, Locos, as well as T-shirts, backpack, and coolers.   
      Jerry Blakely, director of sales and marketing at the Clubhouse, said the evening was for a good cause. 
      “It’s for a great cause,” he said. “They are a benefit for the community.  Anything the Clubhouse can help people facilitate, we are more than willing to help with.”
      The organization, founded in 1987 with a name change four year ago, is a pro-life organization that offers support to women and families that are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy.
      By holding events such as “Bowling for Babies” the organization hopes to raise awareness of their program in the community and the services they offer. 
      Olliff said services include free pregnancy tests, educational courses, life coaching, abstinence and STD education, bible study, parenting classes and counseling  The organization also offers an “Earn While You Learn” program that allows attendees to earn Choices of the Heart “bucks,” which are redeemable for parenting supplies through the organization’s Baby Boutique, by attending courses, making good grades, completing homework and assignments given by Choices of the Heart, and other activities within the organization.  
      Recently, the group moved to a larger location at 220 South Zetterower Avenue in order to accommodate its needs. To serve, support, and educate are the organizations primary goals, according to Olliff.
      “We give young women a place to go when they are in a crisis pregnancy,” she said. “When they are deciding between abortion and keeping the baby or putting it up for adoption.  We are here to support them.”
      In the future, the group plans to incorporate more classes and hopes to become “medical,” which would allow them to perform ultrasounds and other medical procedures.

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