August 15, 2009 6:22:00 PM
Seven years ago, Pam Stenzel grew weary of hearing the phrase, "Nobody told me." After years of counseling young girls who found themselves in crisis pregnancies, the then-director of a crisis pregnancy center in Minnesota began to realize so many were completely unaware of the risks involved with sexual activity -- that many had never been told about the consequences of their choices.
The experience led Stenzel to found Enlighten Communications Inc., tackling today''s tough issues of sex, love and relationships with candor, insight, humor and challenge.
On Thursday, Aug. 20, the nationally-recognized abstinence and sex educator will highlight a fundraising dinner held at First United Methodist Church for the Life Choices Pregnancy Care Center. With facilities in Columbus and Starkville, the non-profit center serves women and families throughout the Golden Triangle.
"Boots for Babies" will center around a western-theme, with a Tex-Mex menu and live entertainment by the Maskers band from Mississippi University for Women. The banquet meal will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the fellowship hall of the church located at 602 Main St. in Columbus.
Stenzel has appeared on numerous national television and radio programs, including "The Dr. Laura Show," ABC''s "Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher" and CBN''s "700 Club." Organizers are excited to have the dynamic educator speak Thursday about teens and how vital character-building is in a child''s upbringing.
"The reason we''re having Pam is two-fold," said Life Choices Board President Donna Miller. "It''s to reach parents and youth in our area with her message of having healthy lifestyles through abstinence; and to raise awareness in the community about Life Choices and the work we do here to serve everybody we can reach through this ministry."
The center offers counseling, pregnancy tests and classes for parents-to-be in the confines of a confidential environment.
"We receive no funding from government agencies," explained Miller. "Most of our support comes from individuals and churches, and a few businesses, plus an occasional grant."
Stenzel will also speak Friday at New Hope High School.
Tickets for "Boots for Babies" are $25, available at Life Choices Pregnancy Care Centers at 1909 1/2 Highway 45 N. in Columbus, or 102 Old West Point Road in Starkville. They may also be purchased at the FUMC office, or at the door Aug. 20. Corporate table sponsorships are also available.
Tax-deductible donations to support the centers may be made at www.firstgiving.com/lifechoicesms.
For more information, contact Rachel Faulkner at 662-574-4367, or the centers at 662-327-0500 or 662-323-1700.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.