Community Pregnancy Center raises record funds, needs a bit more to purchase building

A sold-out crowd of 400 packed the Savannah Center in West Chester this month for the 35th Celebrate Life Banquet. About $210,000 was raised, said Candice Keller, executive director of the Community Pregnancy Center. SUBMITTED PHOTO BY COMMUNITY PREGNACY CENTER
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A sold-out crowd of 400 packed the Savannah Center in West Chester this month for the 35th Celebrate Life Banquet. About $210,000 was raised, said Candice Keller, executive director of the Community Pregnancy Center. SUBMITTED PHOTO BY COMMUNITY PREGNACY CENTER

Executive Director Candice Keller is confident goal can be reached by end of the year

The executive director of the Community Pregnancy Center in Middletown never “dreamed” of owning the leased building where it has provided services for five years.

But after a record 35th Celebrate Life Banquet this month and generosity from the building’s owner, the pregnancy center is nearing ownership, said Candice Keller, executive director for 14 years. She said a fundraiser at the Savannah Center in West Chester generated $210,000, leaving the center $40,000 short of buying the building.

The previous record for the fundraiser was $91,000 and this year’s event drew a sold-out crowd of 400, she said.

The pregnancy center has until the end of December to raise the rest of the money, according to Keller. The 62-year-old Middletown native is confident the goal will be reached because the city “never turns its back on the needy.”

The center has leased the building from Tim Ball for five years, and he has offered to sell the building for $250,000, much less than its appraised value, according to Keller.

“It’s a blessing,” she said of the 6,000-square-foot building on Roosevelt Boulevard that will allow the Community Pregnancy Center to increase its services and eliminate monthly payments.

Keller plans to start a 10-week counseling program called Rendered Pure for physically and mentally abused women. She’s seeing an increase in women involved in prostitution and human trafficking. She called them “broken and wounded” women.

“But they are cherished by God, loved by us,” she said. “We want to get them out of that life.”

Keller said the center is on “target” to have 2,000 client visits this year. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the center was closed for one week and still provided diapers through a drive-through service, she said.

When people were told to work from home during COVID-19, Keller said that provided them an opportunity to clean out their closets and donate them to the center. She said volunteers are constantly sorting the donated clothes.

Donated diapers from surrounding states have been delivered to the center and Keller’s Middletown residence, she said.

“That shows what a big heart people have,” she said.

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Candice Keller, left, executive director of the Community Pregnancy Center, poses with Mary Capella during the 35th Celebrate Life Banquet held this month in the Savannah Center in West Chester. SUBMITTED PHOTO BY COMMUNITY PREGANCY CENTER

Candice Keller, left, executive director of the Community Pregnancy Center, poses with Mary Capella during the 35th Celebrate Life Banquet held this month in the Savannah Center in West Chester. SUBMITTED PHOTO BY COMMUNITY PREGANCY CENTER
Caption
Candice Keller, left, executive director of the Community Pregnancy Center, poses with Mary Capella during the 35th Celebrate Life Banquet held this month in the Savannah Center in West Chester. SUBMITTED PHOTO BY COMMUNITY PREGANCY CENTER

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