Planned Parenthood Founder Honored at Fundraising Event
MARQUETTE - Results are in from Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan's (PPWNM) recent fundraising luncheon in Marquette. The Healthy Families Luncheon 2012, held May 3 at the Masonic Building, brought out 117 supporters who raised nearly $14,000.
The late Dr. Wallace Pearson Sr. was honored at the event for tireless devotion to Planned Parenthood. Dr. Pearson was instrumental in bringing the first Planned Parenthood health center to Marquette, and served as the first medical director, a position he voluntarily held for 20 years. Pearson died October 15, 2011, at age 80.
Speaking to the crowd, friend and former colleague Suzanne Banton remembered Dr. Pearson's tireless devotion to Planned Parenthood, its clients and staff, "The many nurse practitioners who depended on Dr. Pearson to offer advice and to guide them are proud to have known him and worked with him. Thousands of women in Marquette and surrounding communities should also be thankful for his willingness to take a stand to meet their needs at a time when it was not the most popular thing to do. I remember with fondness Dr. Pearson as a mentor, a colleague, and a friend."
Event co-chairs Candy Miller and Sheryl Waudby presented family members of Dr. Pearson with a crystal vase in appreciation of the doctor's friendship and loyalty to Planned Parenthood, and the cause of reproductive choice, "We were very pleased to be able to honor Dr Wallace Pearson Sr. for all his volunteer efforts toward our local Planned Parenthood clinic and to women's rights. It is very significant when people take a stand and demonstrate on a daily basis their committment to healthy families and reproductive rights," said Miller.
The family thanked Planned Parenthood for the important service it provides in the community and for recognizing Dr. Pearson's contribution.
Pearson has also been recognized for his work in reproductive health care as a past recipient of the Alan D. Guttmacher Medallion and the Martha Hatch Distinguished Science Award from Planned Parenthood. During his 31-year career as an OB/GYN in Marquette, Dr. Pearson delivered some 3,800 children.
Also at the luncheon, PPWNM President/CEO Kathy Humphrey acknowledged and thanked Zonta Club of Marquette Area for awarding a $750 grant to PPWNM's Project Safe and Healthy. Project Safe and Healthy will provide evidence-based sexuality education programming for young women in the Marquette area. The project will provide the knowledge, skills, and support necessary to prevent unhealthy relationships, unintended pregnancy, and sexually transmitted infections including HIV. Zonta Club of Marquette Area has support the programs and services of PPWNM for over 25 years!
Planned Parenthood of West and Northern Michigan (PPWNM) provides reproductive health care and sexuality education services
at eight locations in Michigan. Learn more at ppwnm.org.