Tickets on sale for Lifeline Family Center Benefit Dinner
The annual Benefit Dinner for Lifeline Family Center will feature a well-known preacher, who is sure to address a sold-out crowd.
“It’s going to be really amazing,” Lifeline Family Center Inc. President/Founder Kathy Miller said. “He is the biggest ticket person so far in 24 years we’ve been doing the benefit dinners. Tony Evans is off the charts.”
On Thursday, March 12, the 24th annual Benefit Dinner for Lifeline Family Center will be held with guest speaker Dr. Tony Evans, who was named one of the 12 most effective preachers in the English-speaking world by Baylor University. The dinner will take place at McGregor Baptist Church, 3750 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and dinner begins at 6:30 p.m.
Tickets are $90 a person, or $560 for a table of eight. Sponsorships, with a VIP reception with Dr. Evans, are available and range from $1,000 to $15,000. Tickets can be purchased by calling 239-242-7238, or by visiting www.BenefitDinnerLFC.org. The cutoff for purchasing tickets is March 6.
The benefit dinner is one of two major fundraisers Lifeline Family Center holds.
“We choose not to receive government funding. I don’t believe people should fund things they don’t believe in. All funds come from donations from the community,” Miller said, which is why the benefit dinner is held.
Last year, Miller said they maxed out at 500 attendees. This year, McGregor Baptist is taking down the partition, so they can add another 300 seats.
“More than half sold already,” she said of the 800 seats.
Dr. Evans, the first African American to earn a doctorate of theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, is the founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, as well as the president of The Urban Alternative, chaplain of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, and author of more than 100 books, booklets and Bible studies. He also has a radio broadcast, “The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans,” which can be heard on more than 1,200 United States outlets daily.
“Dr. Evans preaches for the church to be the church,” Miller said. “The church is more than the building. It’s families, society and how we interact and that is what Lifeline Family Center is. Lifeline Family Center is the church in action, doing the things we are taught to do on a Sunday morning. He is just right in line with what the center is all about.”
In addition to Dr. Evans making an appearance during the dinner, Miller said they will have a young woman in attendance giving her testimony as an abortion survivor and a vocalist who the center helped in her unplanned pregnancy.
“It’s kind of nice to see some of the results and some of the outcomes of what we believe in and what we do,” she said. “It’s not just where we are currently at with our moms and babies. They are there at the event. It is also some of the positive outcomes of choosing life. What a tragedy it is to think of all the life that has been sacrificed to abortion.”
Miller said she has been counseling women for almost 44 years and has found that the majority of women who choose abortion said it was not be their choice.
“It was her boyfriends, husband, parents and grandparents choice. It was not her choice, but the pressure put on her. She lives with the consequences. We offer post abortion healing for women. The alternative of abortion with homes for the girls, educational opportunities and childcare,” she said.
More than 40 years ago, Miller and two other women opened the first maternity home in Lee County, a traditional maternity home where girls stayed with them until they gave birth. She said it occurred to her that the girls who did not have a plan when they became pregnant, most likely did not have a plan after they gave birth.
“The thing that would drive these girls back to living with the guy was in exchange of rent and lack of opportunity to get an education and be able to have a career and support themselves,” Miller said, adding that she wanted to correct all the things that she saw wrong in the traditional maternity home. “We tried to meet and correct those things with having housing, educational opportunities, childcare, life skills training and counseling. It is all right here for them, so they can change direction if they so choose.”
Lifeline Family Center, which was founded in 1996, provides young women in crisis pregnancies with a safe home in Cape Coral, with a learning environment. The two-year residential program, which provides education, job training, professional counseling, parenting guidance and spiritual guidance, prepares the young mothers and their child to be self-supporting.
Thirteen years ago, Lifeline Family Center moved into the Cape Coral facility.
“We continue to grow and offer positive alternatives to women of unplanned pregnancies,” Miller said, adding that since they do not believe in abortion, they wanted to come up with a positive solution, Lifeline Family Center.
The center is in the process of building apartments, which are expected to be completed at the end of March. She said the apartments are for girls who graduate from the program. She said when the girls get their GED and finish their career training and are working in their career field, they are eligible to live in the transitional apartment.
The center is currently able to hep 12 moms, ages 16 to 25, and up to 24 babies. With the apartment, the center can help 16.
In addition, the nonprofit also provides a 24/7 Pregnancy Hotline, free pregnancy tests and free ultrasounds by appointments.
Miller said by opening Lifeline Family Center she feels like she has a purpose and direction. She said although a lot of times she cannot undo 16, 18 or 20 years of dysfunction, she can introduce the young women to a better way of doing things.
“It’s a gift of hope. I like being on that end, giving them hope, not by saying what was in past was wrong, but here is what the future can be,” Miller said.
She said that 92 percent of the girls who have graduated from the program have shared that they are parenting their children differently and are not being abusive.