Alternatives Medical Clinic, a free health center located in Escondido specializing in women’s care, specifically for sexual health and pregnancy counseling, held its annual fall fundraiser Thursday, October 24 at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido.
Over 450 people attended the event, marking the 2nd largest ever audience in fundraiser history, according to clinic director Tammy DeArmis—behind only 2012 when Pam Tebow, mother of former NFL QB and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, delivered the keynote speech.
Craig Marshall, lead Pastor at Grace Bible Church in Escondido delivered the invocation. DeArmis’s address detailed changes to and successes for the clinic, highlighted by video testimonials from patients and staff.
Keynote guest and speaker Melissa Ohden talked of her experience as a survivor of a failed abortion in the late 1970’s, which she calls “miraculous,” growing up as an adoptee, reuniting and reconciling with her birth family after a decade long search and the challenges of melding coping with these experiences with raising a family of her own.
“Abortion doesn’t fix or save relationships”, she argued, “by and large it ends them.” Alternatively, she claimed, “Adoption is the option that everyone can live with.” A nationally recognized speaker and author, Ohden makes frequent appearances worldwide to share her story of survival and journey to find her “calling” to help others with similar experiences, also recorded in her 2017 book entitled “You Carried Me: A Daughter’s Memoir.” Ohden has also testified before the United States Congress and Australian Parliament as an advocate for pro-life legislation.
In total, Alternatives raised over $130,000 on Thursday in the form of one-time and recurring monthly donations, with more anticipated from contributions from new and future donors, which reached an estimated 30 at the fundraiser alone, a “huge success” according to DeArmis.
Money raised from this event and from future contributions will help continue to fund no-cost services at the clinic including pregnancy testing and ultrasounds, medical diagnoses, treatment and counseling for patients, funding for current and prospective staff members, including a new nursing manager needed to accommodate the increasing demand from the public for services at the clinic, which now also offers STI testing for both men and women.
Additionally, Alternatives has recently launched a Mobile Clinic stationed at three Palomar Community College campuses throughout each week providing many of the same medical services to both men and women, as well as a new weekly podcast providing information about the clinic and discussing various sexual health-related topics available online free to the public at the clinic’s website and on Spotify.
Further information about Alternatives Medical Clinic, including the complete list of services offered, as well as how to become a donating partner, can be found at amc-ca.com.