Teen dinner theater helps raise money for ultrasound machine

Lincoln Nelson, left, is held up by Ryan Beaman, right, and David Brosseau during a rehearsal of a scene from Jim R. Potter’s “The Lions of Trodheim.”

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer

Hope, for a group of Clovis teenagers, is an ultrasound machine.

The pro-life teens believe the device can persuade women not to have abortions. So they raised more than $25,000 to purchase one.

“When most mothers and fathers see an ultrasound image, when they see the baby move, they are truly touched. It becomes real for them,” Jeremy Blaschke, 17, said.

When Blaschke pitched the concept to 29 of his home-schooled peers, all members of the Clovis Area Home Educators student government organization, they elected him student government president.

A year later, the teens have just about completed their goal.

“These are not extraordinary people,” said Byron Stout, 20, a friend of Blaschke’s and a former member of the home-schooled organization. “They are very much ordinary teenagers that are all about passion for God and passion for doing what’s right.”

Their hard-earned cash will be donated to the group that inspired Blaschke, the Colorado Springs Focus on Family organization.

That organization launched the Option Ultrasound campaign to provide hundreds of ultrasounds, free of charge, to pregnancy resource centers across the nation. The intent is twofold: To reach sectors not able to financially afford the procedure, and reduce the number of abortions in the United States, according to their Web site, www.heartlink.org.

Blaschke and friends have admitted little contact with abortion in real life, apart from rhetorical debates, church sermons, and family discussions. But they are convinced — much as the Focus on Family organization, much like their parents — that seeing ultrasound images will be an essential tool for women who are struggling with an abortion decision.

“When women have abortions, an ultrasound is done to determine the age of the baby. The doctors turn the screen away,” Blaschke said, “We had a lady who donated $1,000 to us. She worked at a pregnancy resource center and she told us if more women were able to see the screens, they would have realized it was a child. They wouldn’t have had those previous abortions.”

Blaschke is so committed to the project he even quit playing soccer with a city league. He spent his summer coordinating bake sales, ticket raffles, and a walk-a-thon. He and other members implored community members for help. They were tenacious enough to find an anonymous donor willing to match whatever amount raised at their final fund-raiser, a dinner theater.

This Friday and Saturday at the First Church of the Nazarene, the teenagers will serve dinner and perform a play about Nazi Germany.

“The kids spent a very long time looking for a play,” said the young fund-raiser’s father, Terry Blaschke. “There are some correlations between the Holocaust and abortion,” he said, comparing the number of Jews executed with the number of abortions committed since Roe Vs. Wade.

Though their moral codes run deep, the student group does not condemn women who have had abortions, according to Blaschke.

“We are not in any way condemning people who have already had an abortion, this is all about offering hope and an opportunity to save lives,” Blaschke said.