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Knights of Columbus, St. Francis de Sales parish donate pair of ultrasound machines to pregnancy center

On hand to bless two ultrasound machines at the Pregnancy Care Clinic of the Eastern Shore are executive director Jacqueline Seldon and, from left, Knights of Columbus Deacon Dr. Bill Folger of St. Francis de Sales Parish, State Deputy Vincent Grauso, and District Deputy Charles Doherty.

SALISBURY — In November 2021 the Knights of Columbus Council St. Francis de Sales #3489 gave two state of the art ultrasound machines to the Pregnancy Care Clinic of the Eastern Shore in Salisbury.

The $32,178 raised to purchase the machines was generated by a fast-moving fund-raising initiative that originated with the parish’s Respect Life Committee, continued with the Knights of Columbus at the local and state levels with diocesan approval, and resulted in both stationary and mobile ultrasound machines and renovations to a recreational vehicle that will soon house the portable unit.

“(The gift) has been really pivotal in helping us save lives,” said Jacquelyn Seldon, executive director of the clinic. “We are just so blessed.”

“It was amazing. It was totally a God thing,” said Knight Howard Pusey, a member of Council #3489.

Respect Life Committee chairwoman Susan Deehan said the initiative was a team effort.

The committee held its October 2020 meeting at the clinic where members learned the ultrasound machine donated by the Knights in 2013 needed replacing. The Knights immediately mobilized, submitting forms and getting the necessary permissions to begin fundraising.

On April 5, 2021, the council posted an appeal for donations on their Facebook page: “It’s the little things that turn into big things! The Knights of Columbus Council is raising money to buy a new ultrasound machine for the Eastern Shore Pregnancy Center. Thanks to an anonymous donor, we are able to double your donation until Mother’s Day, May 9.”

By Nov. 17, the clinic was able to announce on its Facebook page, “Big news! Our ultrasound machines are here! Thank you to the Knights of Columbus Council #3489, thank you to the Knights of Columbus Maryland State Council, and thank you to everyone who donated to make this possible.”

On hand to bless the machines the evening of Nov. 11, were Knights Dr. Bill Folger, a deacon of St. Francis Parish; State Deputy Vincent Grauso; and District Deputy Charles Doherty; and local Knights of Columbus and Respect Life Committee members.

“We are so humbled and thankful for the huge blessing you are to our clinic, our clients and our community,” Seldon posted on the clinic’s Facebook page. “Your help is creating a ripple effect in making a lasting difference!”

Seldon said the mobile clinic, partnering with Choices Pregnancy Center in Easton, Md., and Sussex County Pregnancy Center in Georgetown will be able to provide accessible, life-affirming services to rural, underserved communities in lower Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

“The young women … come in, and they just marvel at what they see on the ultrasound, and the pictures are beautiful,” Seldon said.

“Initially they may come in a little frightened, but as they see that heartbeat, see the little arm buds and leg buds forming, you can see the astonishment and then the excitement, and then you can slowly see the smile begin to form on their faces. So it really is a life-changer, a game-changer. We are so thankful for the Knights of Columbus,” Seldon said.

“The ultrasound picture makes a huge difference when they see their babies, especially fathers,” Deehan said. “It’s incredible. It changes hearts and minds for sure.”

In a text message, Deehan wrote, “The most important thing about working with such amazing groups of people (Pregnancy Center, KofC, Loving Life Committee, SFDS Parish) sharing their individual gifts for life, is that we are all, as Jackie Seldon always says, “Saving a generation together.”

The initiative “just made me know there’s a God out there that really wanted this to happen, and that he was behind it all the way, and things fell into place,” Pusey said. “I can’t explain it any other way.”