Photo courtesy of THE PREGNANCY CENTER OF PINELLAS COUNTY
The Pregnancy Center of Pinellas County offers help, guidance and information regarding an unplanned pregnancy. The center provides free pregnancy tests, free limited ultrasounds and education on all pregnancy options including abortion, adoption and parenting. Standing, from left, are director Nancy Lathrop, Jan Brubaker, registered nurse Lindsay Petitt, Shelly Wilson, registered nurse Mary Ann Boldt, Ashley Swiger, Loralee Mellow, Alecia Parker, Raidel Vasallo and CEO Sol Pitchon.
Photo courtesy of THE PREGNANCY CENTER OF PINELLAS COUNTY
The Pregnancy Center of Pinellas County recently relocated from the Countryside area to 927 E. Klosterman Road in Tarpon Springs. An open house and ribbon cutting ceremony took place Sept. 27. Standing, from left, are Pastor “Q” Mark Quattrochi, Tarpon Springs Mayor David Archie, board member Michael Huth, Congressman Gus Bilirakis, CEO Sol Pitchon, Terri Pitchon and Frank Nabozny.
PALM HARBOR – The Pregnancy Center of Pinellas County opened a new north county facility last month across the street from St. Petersburg College, near U.S. 19, at 927 E. Klosterman Road.
The center, which is a subsidiary of New Life Solutions, empowers women to make informed decisions about their unplanned pregnancies. It offers free pregnancy tests, free limited ultrasounds and confidential counseling.
New Life Solutions offers an umbrella of services that include pregnancy counseling, birthing assistance, youth development and transitional housing for qualified single-parent families.
It operates pregnancy centers in Pinellas Park and Largo, as well as the new facility in Tarpon Springs.
The first pregnancy center opened in 1985 in Pinellas Park. Today, the Breath of Life Women’s Health Services & Birth Center at the Largo campus provides state-of-the-art facilities for the health of women. It is designed to offer a natural childbirth experience by certified nurse-midwife professionals and is a member of the American Association of Birth Centers.
The facility provides gynecological and obstetrical care. A 7,000-square-foot, faith-based outreach ministry is also located on the Largo campus. A local board of directors governs the ministry with Dave Pilkington serving as the chairman.
Sol Pitchon, president and chief executive officer, joined New Life Solutions in 1999. Since that time, he has been a pro-life advocate for the private, nonprofit organization.
Pitchon, 65, converted to Christianity in his 40s. His parents are World War II Holocaust survivors.
Pitchon’s mother, Garmaine, 86, narrowly escaped sterilization at the age of 16 in Nazi Germany. A German soldier killed her father. Her mother and two sets of younger twin sisters died in the gas chamber. An estimated 17 million Jews, Gypsies and handicapped people perished during the Holocaust.
“Here at New Life Solutions, we provide compassionate assistance and unconditional Godly love, empowering mothers to welcome the next generation, not eliminate it,” Pitchon said.
In 2008, Florida was ranked the second highest in the country for number of abortions in which 86,000 took place, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Pitchon, a former University of Florida psychology major, earned a master’s degree in counseling from Liberty University after leaving a career as an underwriting manager with Allstate Insurance. He worked at a Christian psychiatric hospital for three years and then in private practice for five years as a psychotherapist before joining New Life Solutions.
In addition to other services, the pregnancy centers also provide post-abortion restoration and counseling. The program offers grief support for both women and men.
“A man who pushed a woman to have an abortion later on regrets it,” Pitchon said. “They realize that what they did was to terminate the life of their own child.”
The pregnancy centers receive about 1,500 first-time clients a year. Clients have three options: abortion, becoming a parent or putting up a baby for adoption. Free classes taught by volunteers and nurses are available. Classes range from managing finances to caring for a newborn.
New Life Solutions offers educational services to public schools. Staffers have spoken to 76,000 junior high and high school students on such topics as abstinence until marriage, teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.
“If they do have an abortion, our doors are still open,” said Nancy Lathrop, director of client services.
Lathrop oversees all three pregnancy centers and said the centers are a community resource.
“We go over all of the client’s options, so they can make a fully educated decision,” she said. “We have parenting classes to help them learn how to be good parents.”
The budget to operate the three pregnancy centers and to provide resources to the community is about $1 million a year. New Life Solutions holds three major fundraising events each year. The annual Walk for Life event is held on Mother’s Day weekend. It raises about $400,000.
New Life Solutions will host The Great Turn-Around, a benefit dinner and auction Saturday, Nov. 10, at the Coliseum in St. Petersburg. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. and includes a gourmet dinner. It is expected to raise about $300,000. To reserve seats or to become a table host, send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 216-1410.
The 24th annual More2Life! Golf Classic will be held March 11. The annual tournament takes place at Feather Sound Country Club in Clearwater. Proceeds from the event will benefit the More2Life Youth Development Program.
The outreach program has served more than 75,000 youths in Pinellas County in years past. Sponsorships start at $1,000. Individual fees are $150 per person. Contests, prizes and a complimentary awards reception follow the tournament. For more information, call 216-1402, ext. 207.