On Saturday, Pro-Life advocates came from across Texas (and beyond) to celebrate Life and prepare for another year of defending the most vulnerable in our state. Texas Right to Life’s 19th Annual Celebration of Life drew a record crowd of 1,000 Pro-Lifers – all sharing in the goal of creating a Culture of Life in Texas.
The beautiful Hilton Americas – Houston hotel served as our venue – one of the few large enough to accommodate our swelling numbers each year. The evening began with a VIP reception and silent auction. Generous supporters around the nation donated an array of auction items, from exotic vacation trips to hand-crafted furniture and autographed memorabilia. Attendees mingled, making new Pro-Life connections and reuniting with old friends.
Guests then moved into the ballroom, where dinner awaited. Houston radio personality Sam Malone emceed the event. This year, Texas Right to Life had the honor of recognizing some of the most longstanding supporters of our organization. Miss Marion Bell was awarded the Faithful Steward Award for the decades of support she and her late sister, Phyllis, bestowed upon Texas Right to Life. In fact, Marion and her sister first befriended Texas Right to Life in the 1970s when the organization was an emerging endeavor of the late Dr. Joseph Graham, father of Texas Right to Life President, Jim Graham.
We were also honored to recognize Miss Ruby Zimmerman for her many years of service to Texas Right to Life as our receptionist by giving her our Lifetime of Service Award. If you’ve ever called Texas Right to Life’s headquarters in Houston, chances are you were greeted by the sweet voice of Miss Ruby. Ruby will be 88 years old this week yet she still comes to work at Texas Right to Life every single day because she is so committed to the cause of Life.
Pro-Life heroes David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt received Texas Right to Life’s highest honor: Courageous Defender of Life awards. The pair faced the evil abortion industry, spending nearly two years infiltrating the deepest recesses of Planned Parenthood and their ilk in efforts to publicly expose the draconian realities of Big Abortion.
And expose those realities they certainly have. As David half-jokingly recounted in his keynote address later that evening, the efforts he and Sandra undertook have been met with multimillion dollar PR cover-up campaigns and several lawsuits in powerful regions in the country. To say that David and Sandra panicked the abortion beast would be an understatement. Texas Right to Life was honored to recognize the pair’s historic contribution to the Pro-Life movement in person.
Guests listened in awed silence as David recounted the horrors witnessed inside the nation’s largest abortion chain. Sandra and David were confronted by abortion industry greed when they caught Planned Parenthood’s most influential abortionists negotiating high profits from the illegal trafficking of baby body parts. They also witnessed firsthand the gut-wrenching reality of abortion when Planned Parenthood proudly displayed the mangled remains of aborted children.
David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt reminded us all that we have much work ahead of us this January when we inaugurate the 85th Session of the Texas Legislature. Texas Right to Life will maintain a full-time presence in Austin representing you and your Pro-Life interests. To all who attended our 19th Annual Celebration of Life: thank you. And to all who support the life-saving work of Texas Right to Life financially, prayerfully, or in any other way: you are integral to our work, and we look forward to celebrating the victory of the Dismemberment Abortion Ban with you next year at our 20th Annual Celebration of Life!