An upcoming fundraising event has had a recent change of headlining guest speaker.

This 30th annual Haven Health Friends for Life fundraising banquet is set for Tuesday, Sept. 10. Doors are scheduled to open at 6 p.m. with the event beginning at 6:30 p.m.

This year’s banquet will be held at the Forum River Center, 301 Tribune St., and will host Shawn Carney as its featured speaker. Carney is CEO, president and co-founder of the pro-life organization 40 Days for Life.

The previously scheduled speaker, actress Ashley Bratcher, was forced to cancel for the event after receiving an acting job that will keep her from attending. Bratcher is the star of the pro-life film “Unplanned,” in which the story of Carney and his wife is depicted.

Haven Health Clinic for Women, 311 Redmond Road, is an organization dedicated to offering free assistance to women during unplanned pregnancies, with no insurance billing and no income requirements.

“Haven gives women the tools they need to make the best decisions about their pregnancy with the goal to either keep the baby or give it up for adoption,” Jackson said.

According to Jackson, Haven helps women with a number of things, including counseling, providing clothing and diapers and even ultrasounds conducted by a staff nurse.

This year, Haven has seen a sharp increase in the number of women assisted, which means the need for donations has also risen.

“With five months left, Haven has already seen more clients than during all of last year,” Jackson said. “The total from 2018 was 516, and this year we’ve already helped 633. Obviously this brings an increase in operating costs.”

Entire tables can be purchased for the event, but individuals can attend as well.

“The goal isn’t just to sell tables, but to get as many people to attend and hear the message,” Jackson said. “This is the main fundraiser for the organization.”

Individuals interested in attending should call or visit the clinic for single tickets. Along with hearing from speakers, the event will also include dinner for those attending.

To purchase a table, or for more information, folks can call Haven Health at 706-235-6833. Tables sponsorship levels range from $500 up to $5,000. Two attendees from the first 10 tables sold this year will be able to attend a meet and greet with Carney prior to the dinner.

Roman Record editor

Blake Silvers is a member of the Rome News-Tribune editorial staff.