Giving hope to women feeling overwhelmed by or uncertain about the road ahead in their pregnancies has been the mission of Northern Options for Women since its founding, so it’s no surprise the organization has chosen “Giving Hope” as the theme for its first-ever banquet, a press release announced last week.

The event will be held March 2 at Thunderbird Lodge, 2170 County Road 139, International Falls.

Tickets are $35 and available now at, by calling 285-7673 or stopping at the center, 1216 Sixth St.

The event will feature dinner, a silent auction and social hour, door prizes and several speakers, including Northern Options for Women Executive Director Vickie Bernard.

“We are very excited about this event. It will be a great night for a great cause,” Bernard said. “We are hoping to introduce our community members to what we do and how our services are making an impact in our community. This is our main fundraiser of the year, please consider attending. It will be a great way to give back to the families of our community.”

The event’s master of ceremonies for the night will be Sue Nordquist, Rainy River Community College multicultural studies and Spanish instructor who was honored last year with the Excellence Award from the Minnesota Council on the Teaching of Languages and Cultures Department.

Other speakers slated are women who have been impacted by NOFW’s services, said the release.

The evening’s keynote speaker will be Gary Schneeberger, president of ROAR, a public relations firm with offices in Los Angeles and the Chicago area. He has done award-winning work for major Hollywood studios on such projects as The Bible miniseries and the God’s Not Dead trilogy, and has served 12 years as an executive at the international Christian ministry Focus on the Family.

Schneeberger was instrumental in the creation and execution of the organization’s 2010 pro-life Super Bowl commercial featuring Tim Tebow, the most-talked about big-game ad in a generation, said the release. He will discuss “Making News That Matters,” drawn in part from his best-selling 2018 book “Bite the Dog.”

All funds raised from the event will help NOFW provide pregnancy resources to International Falls and the surrounding area. The center offers assistance free of charge to women and men in the form of information and listening sessions, material assistance to new parents, education for any woman who thinks she may be pregnant, and families who have a baby on the way or are currently parenting.

NOFW’s new Earn While You Learn program sees four to seven families per week, taking part in prenatal or parenting classes. In the coming months, NOFW will add limited obstetric ultrasounds for clients as well.

“Option’s main purpose is to give help, hope and heart-filled care to those in a pregnancy or parenting situation,” Bernard said. “Our staff is here for whatever needs that arise, offering guidance, material assistance and referrals to get families the education or assistance they need.”

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