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When I set out to work for Planned Parenthood, I had one intention: To make a positive impact in the lives of others. In other words, to be a trailblazer in my own right.

One thing that has become clear to me is that the staff, donors, volunteers, etc. who make this organization possible are all here for the same reason. We are truly dedicated to providing access to and advocating for reproductive health care.


And the anniversary dinner is a celebration of our arduous and continuous commitment to just that. As a former patient, it was an opportunity for me to meet many of the incredible staff, donors and volunteers who made my well-being possible. As an employee, it was an opportunity to see my intention come to fruition.

After months of planning and preparation, the big night was finally here. We not only celebrated our 52nd anniversary of existence but the trailblazers who made and continue to make our efforts possible.

The evening began with a cocktail reception. I took note of all the different people – it was my first dinner after all. The event was nothing like I pictured. It was fun, diverse and down to earth – the complete opposite of other fundraisers I have attended.

And then, we were escorted into the ballroom, which was ginormous and breathtaking. Cheers to the team who made all of this happen!

And then, there was food. Insert obligatory foodie pic here. Don’t worry; that’s not all we ate.

Marisa and Bill Rastetter, the event chairs who not only coordinated their outfits with the event’s theme but happen to be amazing, kicked off the evening’s program.

Author and featured speaker Jonathan Eig discussed the four rebels, or trailblazers as we like to call them, who made the pill possible. Against all odds, these four trailblazers changed the world as we know it today.

But the most inspiring moment of the evening came when Darrah, our president and CEO, spoke about the normal, everyday trailblazers who make our efforts possible. These trailblazers, from the anonymous donors who secured a building for our Imperial Valley health center to the staff who will run the center, were called on stage to receive a well-deserved standing ovation.

And of course when all was said and done, we danced. After all, no celebration is complete without letting loose.

Ashley @ Planned Parenthood

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. This content is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice or an endorsement by Planned Parenthood. Check with your health care provider to discuss what is best for you.


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