Two new ultrasound machines for the Pregnancy Resource Center, with locations in St. Cloud and Waite Park, arrived June 12. Their purchase was made possible by the District 44 and 45 Knights of Columbus, who organized fundraising efforts for the machines.
“Pregnancy Resource Center is beyond grateful to the Knights of Columbus for their hard work raising the much-needed funds for us to purchase our two new ultrasound machines,” said Julie Spore, PRC’s executive director. “Conrad Meier [financial secretary for KC Council 5548] has been so pleasant to work with, and we have been encouraged by his passion for this cause.”
In autumn 2019, Spore called for donations to purchase two ultrasounds. The new location at Waite Park needed its own machine, and St. Cloud wanted to replace its existing machine, which was eight to 10 years old, so staff could be trained on a single model, she said.
Meier told Spore of the Knights of Columbus’ ultrasound matching grant initiative. “We filed an ultrasound diocesan evaluation and got approval from the Office of Marriage and Family,” he said. “In December, Julie presented her request at our quarterly council meeting. They unanimously approved the decision to raise funds for two machines at a cost of $26,800 each.”
The Knights then applied to the Supreme Office for two matching grants at the same time, Meier said. To qualify, they needed to raise at least 50 percent of the cost of both machines, and wanted all 10 of the local councils to be on board with such a large project. On Jan. 20, they planned a fundraiser spaghetti dinner and silent auction to be held in early March.
“We worked with Pregnancy Resource Center to send out a mailer to many local faith communities, not only Catholic parishes,” Meier said. “About half of our donations came from people who couldn’t attend but who are committed to the pro-life cause.
“Our silent auction didn’t have big or fancy items, but we did offer a fishing trip, which lots of people liked. Though we didn’t have big donations, we raised $28,000, all in a very short time frame.”
The Knights submitted their applications for matching funds by March 17 to the Supreme Office, which approved the requests and sent the checks April 13, so the machines could be ordered.
“To all who financially supported this cause, we are forever thankful for you,” Spore said.