PARKERSBURG - Women's Care Center raised $105,668 at its annual fundraising banquets on April 18-19 at Grand Pointe Conference Center and The Lafayette Hotel, respectively.
Approximately 430 individuals attended the banquet of their choice to support this nonprofit Christian ministry that empowers individuals to make healthy life choices, said Janet Kimes, executive director.
"I was totally amazed by the amount of money raised at the banquets," Kimes said Wednesday. "It was the most we've brought in" during the banquets that began 12 years ago.
Chet McDoniel of Texas, who was born without arms and shortened legs, left, talks to Women’s Care Center executive director Janet Kimes at Grand Pointe Conference Center in Vienna. McDoniel was a featured speaker at fundraising banquets for the center.
Chet McDoniel and his father, Jim McDoniel, were the featured speakers. On Jan. 5, 1980, Chet was born without arms and shortened legs.
Chet's parents decided to raise him as they would any other child. They instilled a positive attitude in Chet that carries with him today, Kimes said.
Chet graduated from the University of North Texas in 2002 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in radio, television and film production. As well as leading worship services and being an inspirational speaker, Chet owns his own travel agency.
Chet, his wife, Joni, and daughters Hannah and Olivia live in the Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, area.
Jim McDoniel is an interim pastor.
Chet presents a message of hope, happiness and a full life for those facing a disability.
Kimes said the fundraisers help to support the Christian-based center that receives assistance from various churches. Women's Care Center is at 2104 Dudley Ave. in Parkersburg.
The clinic provides education, support and medical services for pregnant women at no charge. Baby clothes and equipment are provided to mothers until their child is one-year-old, Kimes said.
A program on testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases will be offered in the fall, Kimes said. A nurse will be hired to manage the new program.
The Women's Care Center operates a program on sexual abstinence in Wood and Wirt County Schools for students in grades six through 10. The program discusses the importance of healthy relationships, said Kimes, who has been director since 1997 and a volunteer for five years before that.
The Women's Care Center opened in Parkersburg in 1991.