On Saturday, September 27, dozens of Christendom students supported the pro-life cause at the Front Royal Pregnancy Center’s Annual Walk for Life in downtown Front Royal. Students not only participated in the event, but also raised over $7,000 for the Center with the largest donation from the Front Royal area.
In preparation for the Walk, all four Christendom classes participated in a competition to raise the largest donation for the Center. The freshman class, led by Mark Mergner, collected $1,200. Sophomore Angela Townsend led her class to donate $3,000, while the upperclassmen raised $1,800 under the direction of junior Peter Blank and senior Peter Deucher.
The Front Royal Pregnancy Center assists expectant mothers, especially those in crisis pregnancies, and gives aid to women looking for recovery from or alternatives to abortion. Organized by alumna Mary Brand ’98, the Walk for Life raised money to help cover the free services provided by the center throughout the year. The center, which launched with assistance from several Christendom alumni, offers pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, infant supplies, mentoring and relationship counseling, community service referrals, and educational resources on pregnancy, abortion, and prenatal health care.
“The enthusiasm of those who participated was beautiful,” Mergner says. “It fired me up to put the goal high.”
Leading a class entailed special duties for Mergner. On Saturday morning, he and Peter Deucher woke, gathered students and drove them to join the seven hundred other participants who assembled in front of the pregnancy center for the start of the walk at 10 am.
The mile-long walk was a great success, and the college stood out as a strong presence amongst the pro-life crowds. Junior Peter Blank and sophomore Joey Kuplack led the Christendom group down Front Royal’s sidewalks while singing Irish and religious tunes.
“We led the students in rounds,” says Blank. “Together we sang ‘Magnificat’ and ‘Father I Adore You.’ The people watching us knew who we were. They heard us singing and some started singing with us.”
“It was amazing seeing so many people of different denominations come together for the same cause,” Kuplack adds. “People watched us and were cheering us on.”
For Mergner, Christendom students’ participation in this event speaks to their generosity and belief in the pregnancy center’s mission.
“True beauty in life is when one fights against evil,” he says. “The center saves over 100 lives each year, with their sonogram machine and their services.”
Students are proud of the work they’ve done to help the center and look forward to participating in the Walk for Life again next year.