Guests at the Emily’s Voice Gala dinner on Saturday night at Gateway Centre in Devonport were moved to great generosity by stories of abortion escape.
Katrina Urry and Stacey McBride Wilson travelled from Bundaberg and the Sunshine Coast, respectively, to share how their close shaves with abortion have shaped their lives. One survived her mother’s two abortion attempts, the other climbed off the abortion table to choose life for her unborn daughter.
The 80 guests nailed the fundraising target of $20,000 by giving just over: a total of $20,300 was raised through donations, merchandise and bidding on silent auction items. Emily’s Voice board chairwoman Katrina Hobbs explained that the money will be used for future Not Born Yet campaigns within Tasmania.
“We are extremely grateful for your support as we enter a new era for Emily’s Voice with incoming CEO Leighton Joyce who brings a strategic approach to culture change and measuring our impact,” she said.
“Emily’s Voice is needed now, more than ever, as a voice of truth delivered with great love and sensitivity to defend the most defenceless: unborn babies and their mothers.”
Local duo Wavelet provided beautiful musical entertainment, and one couple had the crowd in fits of laughter as they took out lucky door prizes for both the tallest heels (her) and the longest beard (him).
At the end of the evening, MC Phill van Ryn asked all guests to be upstanding in a final round of applause for outgoing CEO Paul O’Rourke and his wife Janine. Devonport was their final official Emily’s Voice event, and we wish them all the best in their future adventures.
Two real stories of abortion escape
Stacey McBride Wilson from the Sunshine Coast shared how she climbed off the abortionist’s table when she saw an ultrasound of her daughter at 19 weeks gestation sucking her thumb.
“I said ‘I can’t go through with it’, and walked out to the waiting room where my boyfriend told me to go back in and ‘get it done’.’’
“I walked out and went home,” she shared.
“To say my life has been easy would be a lie, but I finished year 12, taking my newborn baby to the school formal, have gained not one, but two degrees, and run my own business.’’
She talked of the profound joy that Katie, now 14, has brought into her life, and the lives of others.
Katrina Urry’s abortion escape was from a very different perspective. She survived her mum’s two desperate abortion attempts to emerge into a hostile world where she was unwanted and unloved.
Conceived as a result of her married mum’s affair, Katrina’s alcoholic parents made her the scapegoat for every real or imagined ill; she suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a Sunday school teacher and had any remaining shred of self-esteem removed by teachers who told her she would never amount to anything.
She was binge drinking by her teens and tried to kill herself several times before an aunt finally rescued her, removing the self-destructive 15-year-old from her toxic environment and planting her into a safe, supportive family.
There she experienced the unconditional love of God and his authentic followers as she slowly discovered her real worth and ultimate purpose. She found hope, found belonging and a good man on whom she could depend.
Katrina is now a successful Bundaberg businesswoman who married the love of her life and together raised nine outstanding young men; five of their own and four boys they adopted in their teens.
“Some of you are probably thinking I would have been better off not living, but I for one am so thankful I survived. My life has been worth living; every breath of it,” she shared.
“Never believe you are not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough or loved enough.
“For me, supporting an organisation like Emily’s Voice helps me know that I may just save one more life –give one more life an opportunity to enjoy breath. All life deserves to be lived.’’
Special thanks to event sponsor Collings Cleaning Services (Matthew and Kimberli Collings). Also a big thank you to Di and Gerard Hesp for donating drinks, and to Nadine and Matthew Scrimgeour for donating two nights accommodation for the silent auction.