Two decades for Comox Valley Pregnancy Care Centre

MATT DAY will supply the entertainment Nov. 19 when the Comox Valley Pregnancy Care Centre holds a 20th anniversary banquet at the Native Sons Hall. - Photo submitted
MATT DAY will supply the entertainment Nov. 19 when the Comox Valley Pregnancy Care Centre holds a 20th anniversary banquet at the Native Sons Hall.
— image credit: Photo submitted

The Comox Valley Pregnancy Care Centre has been helping people in this region for 20 years, and for one night in November, it will celebrate its past, present and future.

The Comox Valley Pregnancy Care Centre is holding a 20th anniversary banquet Nov. 19 at the Native Sons Hall.

With the theme of Celebrating Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, the banquet will feature a roast beef dinner, entertainment by pianist and musical humourist Matt Day and a special guest speaker, Lisa Wengel of Nanaimo.

"Mainly, it's going to be about celebrating 20 years of being in the Valley," said executive director Julie Le Goff. "I want it to be a really fun evening of celebrating."

During a career that has spanned nearly 20 years, Day — who has played for Queen Elizabeth — has travelled across Canada performing a blend of jazz, pop and musical comedy. He is a versatile pianist who entertains and inspires audiences through live music, musical humor and speaking.

Day, who was born on Vancouver Island, has been an active musician on the Alberta music scene since 1992.

He lived in Metchosin until 1977, and his brother Nick lives in Comox. Day has a lot of family in Mill Bay, and he says playing in Courtenay will be a bit like coming home.

A dynamic speaker, Wengel — who is Le Goff's sister — has been in ministry for more than 20 years and is now pastoring in Nanaimo. She will share her story as a single mother.

Le Goff is preparing a video for the banquet that will honour all of the past board members, volunteers and staff at the Comox Valley Pregnancy Care Centre.

"We have so much to be grateful for with the people who have worked here in the past," she said. "That's why I'm doing the video; I want to thank those who gave so much of their money and time in the past."

The banquet will honour dedicated people like Dot Emerson, who was the centre's first director and is retiring after 20 years off and on as a board member, director and volunteer.

"She's 71 now, and she's been amazing," said Le Goff, noting Emerson will stay on as a volunteer.

The Comox Valley Pregnancy Care Centre opened its doors in 1991 on Fourth Street in Courtenay. It has been at its present location on Sixth Street since the late 1990s.

The centre is at the point where Le Goff is seeing the children of past clients.

"One woman said, 'My daughter's pregnant, and I came here when I was pregnant with her and you treated me so well that I wanted her to come here,'" she said.

About 160 people visit the Comox Valley Pregnancy Centre each year.

"I think it's exciting we've been here 20 years," said Le Goff. "Many of our clients have been referred to us by someone who's used our services in the past, which is good because it means we've built up a good reputation in the Valley."

As well, a lot of people who have been helped in the past have gone on to support the centre, noted Le Goff.

As she looks toward the future, Le Goff is excited because the Comox Valley Pregnancy Care Centre is hiring a young woman who will teach sexual integrity in schools.

"I've been wanting that for years," she said. "Part of our mandate as a non-profit is education. So much of the time, I always find we're dealing with people when they are in a crisis, and I'd like to avoid that crisis."

The Comox Valley Pregnancy Care Centre's 20th anniversary banquet will be held Nov. 19 at the Native Sons Hall in Courtenay. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and dinner will be at 6.

Tickets are $25 and are available at the Comox Valley Pregnancy Care Centre at 785 Sixth St. in Courtenay or at Nearly New Books Inc.  at 1761 Comox Ave. in Comox.

For more information, call Julie Le Goff at 250-334-0058.

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