Mike Huckabee speaking at fundraiser for Pelham non-profit

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee will speak to benefit a Pelham-based non-profit organization Oct. 19 at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center in Birmingham.

Huckabee, who ran for president during the 2008 race and is the former governor of Arkansas, will serve as the guest speaker during the Pelham-based Sav-A-Life Shelby’s 25th anniversary celebration.

Pelham-based Sav-A-Life Shelby offers free services to nearly 3,000 women and their families facing unplanned pregnancies each year. The organization promotes pro-life messages, and seeks to lower the number of abortions in Alabama each year.

“It is our understanding that, in the history of the presidential race, Huckabee is one of the most pro-life advocates we’ve ever had,” Sav-A-Life Shelby Executive Direcor Jodi McMillan said of the former candidate, who lost the Republican presidential nomination to John McCain.

“It all ties in with our pro-life message,” McMillan added.

McMillan said Sav-A-Life Shelby is on the “front lines” of the pro-life fight in the Birmingham area.

“We are on the front lines — the difference-makers in the communities involved face-to-face with girls and women making choices between life and death each day,” McMillan said. “With the community’s help, we will continue the fight for life.”

Individual tickets for the 7 p.m. fundraising event are $150, and 10-person tables are available from $1,500. Proceeds from the event will benefit Sav-A-Life Shelby.

Tickets can be purchased at Savalifeshelby.org, or by phone at 664-1667.

In addition to Huckabee, the event will also feature music from Wes Hampton from the Gaither Vocal Band, and ABC 33/40 meteorologist James Spann will serve as the master of ceremonies.

Sav-A-Life Shelby was able to book Huckabee through its relationship with another pregnancy resource center in Texas, McMillan said.

“We have a good relationship with other pregnancy resource centers across the country,” McMillan said. “Another one in Texas had invited him to come speak to them, and we felt his message would be really beneficial to us as well.”

Because Huckabee and Sav-A-Life Shelby both advocate pro-life choices, the two will be able to deliver a “powerful message” during the fundraiser, McMillan said.

“Our mission is to share love and hope with women who are facing unplanned pregnancies. Our main focus is to protect life and preserve life,” McMillan said. “He is a pro-life advocate, and we feel he will be a strong advocate for us.

“Hopefully, it will be a very powerful message,” she added.