Officials with the Lighthouse Pregnancy Center hosted its annual dinner fundraiser on Thursday, Oct. 25 at Jay's RFC Event Center.

Keynote speaker was nationally recognized speaker Lakita Garth Wright from Chicago, Illinois.

She has spoken all across the country at many venues, on many television shows, plus has testified before Congress concerning teen sex.

She is an outspoken proponent of "abstinence until marriage", because "it works every time it is tried in preventing pregnancy and prevention of acquring STD's."

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are over 20,000,000 new cases of STD's every year or 58,000 new cases every day.

Half those cases are acquired by teens.

Of sexually active teens, one-third will have a least one STD by the time they are 20 years old.

Where there used to be only two STDs, there are over a hundred according to the CDC, some, such as gonorrhea, have developed a resistance to the antibiotics used to treat them.

Some of the STD's remain "hidden" until they have progressed to very serious levels and have resulted in sterilization and death.

One fact that Wright quoted, "more women have died of HPV caused cervical cancer than HIV/AIDS, but not much has been mentioned about that fact."

Instead our teens are taught about "safe sex", which most authorities recognize as a misnomer; there is no such thing as "safe sex."

Wright said we need to get the message out to our teens about the truth, because when they hear the facts they actually can make wise decisions.

It really comes down to the message we are passing on.

The Lighthouse Pregnancy Center officials are committed to getting the facts out and they do it through their SHARE (Sexual Health Awareness Prevention Education) program presented in area high schools.

The Lighthouse's program was praised by Wright and she encouraged everyone in attendance to get behind the Lighthouse financially with her question "What are you passing on?"

There are ways to help the Lighthouse Pregnancy Center such as donate gently used baby clothes and items, donate diapers, wipes, baby shampoo, lotion, baby wash, newborn clothes.

Host a baby shower to gather needed items or ask your church to support the Center.

To be even more helpful, commit to be a monthly donor or make a one-time gift.

The Center is a 501(c)3 organization and all your donations are tax deductible.

They have averaged 1426 client visits each year with an average of 99 new clients every year.

The Lighthouse Pregnancy Center plays a key role within the Jay community, providing services to those in Jay and the surrounding area.

For more information, or to volunteer, persons interested may contact Karen Moore, executive director, at 918-253-5472.