Choose Life Ministries is moving forward with its plans to have a residential program in southeast Saskatchewan that will offer assistance to young women facing life-controlling issues and addictions.
Founder Shelley Boyes said they have raised nearly $100,000. Two large donations came in late last year, bolstering their capital fund.
And while they aren't on the verge of beginning construction on a building, which will be located on a parcel of donated land, they hope to have an architect draw up plans before the end of the year.
“I'm not sure how much longer it will be, but the timing really isn't up to us,” Boyes told Lifestyles. “We'll just keep doing what we're supposed to do, and leave the rest in the Lord's hands.”
They have been fundraising for about 18 months.
Choose Life is also looking to establish a more formal presence in Estevan, through an office or even a second-hand store.
“If we had that kind of local presence, then we could start some weekly programs for young women who are struggling with life-controlling issues,” said Boyes. “We're currently looking for a suitable location to house something like that.”
An Estevan office would also help keep the ministry in the public's eye, she said.
Choose Life expects to have a couple of fundraisers in Estevan this year. The first is a spring event patterned after the family fun day they had last year. The event will happen in late April or early May.
“It will be a carnival-type event, a family fun day,” said Boyes. “There will be games available, a concession available and a Chinese auction.”
Boyes noted that she is trying to secure four-time Olympic gold medallist hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser, who hails from Shaunavon, or members of the Jennifer Jones Olympic gold medal-winning women's curling team for the fundraiser.
Their third annual red carpet banquet will happen in the fall. Comedian Mike Bliss will travel from Branson, Missouri, to provide entertainment.
“I personally got to see him at a show in Branson this past fall, and immediately I knew that he was the entertainer that we needed for our red carpet banquet,” said Carlson.
Many people have pledged monthly support to Choose Life as well, she said.
Boyes is willing to speak to churches and service clubs to make them more aware of the ministry, its ambitions and its mission. Among her upcoming speaking engagements will be a women's retreat at Living Hope Community Church on March 15.