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Ultrasound Initiative

We provided an ultrasound machine to the Eden Clinic in Midwest City.  The following article is from the March 18, 2012 Sooner Catholic.  See You Tube video of the blessing here 

14 Sooner Catholic March 18, 2012

Knights Tackle Fundraiser to Help Buy Equipment for Eden Clinic

     MIDWEST CITY � When John McCarthy received an unexpected call from a stranger, he could not have imagined how that conversation would set his life on a new course. The sixth-year Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus (K of C) Council 4026 took away from the dialogue a new inspiration to help protect the unborn. It was a call to action he would use to inspire his Brother Knights.

    The caller had been Linda Cozadd, executive director of The Eden Clinic based in Norman. The Eden Clinic is a faith-based reproductive healthcare organization that does not perform or refer abortion in client consultations. Cozadd called McCarthy because she had been informed of the K of C Supreme Council�s Ultrasound Machine Initiative. The program matches funds raised to purchase ultrasound equipment and Cozadd needed a K of C Council willing to help.

    �It really does make an incredible difference,� Cozadd said. �We know that the latest study shows that 90 percent of women who are going to choose abortion, change their minds after they see that ultrasound.� McCarthy and Cozadd agreed to research separately how they could partner and a few days later, met to discuss their findings. Equipped with not much more than just the necessary program information and a few forms, they decided to launch a fundraising partnership.

    �They were in bad need of equipment,� McCarthy said. �The $40,000 technology they needed was much more advanced than the old, unreliable, black-and-white machine they were using. Those machines are expensive and I knew it would be tough, but I also knew that our Knights would want to answer this challenge.�

    The plan initially would be to complete the fundraising efforts for an ultrasound machine at the Norman location. Half of the funds for that machine had already been raised by The Eden Clinic. Later, after a successful expansion effort on the part of The Eden Clinic, the plan changed.  The new plan involved providing an ultrasound machine for a new Eden Clinic in Midwest City. The new clinic would open in spring 2012.

    Even though McCarthy and Cozadd had both been eager to enact the plan, by March of 2011 the Council�s fundraising efforts had barely made it past the planning stages. One complication was a similar fundraiser that had been initiated by the Oklahoma State Council of the Knights of Columbus. The program would have used donations raised by Council 4026, and other K of C Councils in Oklahoma, to purchase machines for a statewide priority list of ultrasound projects.

    �We felt called to honor our promise to The Eden Clinic,� said Grand Knight McCarthy. �It was disheartening, we felt connected to them and we wanted our money to help out locally. We would not have been able to work with them because they weren�t on that priority list.�

    The connection between Council 4026 and The Eden Clinic strengthened when Cozadd invited McCarthy to their annual banquet. He attended along with his District Deputy, Neil Baltazor, and their spouses, Diana and Maria. Baltazor�s response to the work of The Eden Clinic was similar to McCarthy�s, they both felt compelled to help the organization and were ready to move.

    At a regularly scheduled meeting of the council last September, it was decided that no more delays could be allowed. The spring 2012 deadline for the opening of The Eden Clinic in Midwest City was quickly approaching. Emails requesting that all members of the council donate at least $100 quickly went out. A sluggish start quickly turned into a $16,000 fundraising success, taking less than 90 days to achieve. But the work was not finished.

     Lengthy negotiations with ultrasound machine vendors had to occur to get a suitable price. Eventually, an agreement reduced the cost from $40,000 to $32,000. The Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus would provide the additional funds through the nationwide Ultrasound Machine Initiative that McCarthy and Cozadd had originally discussed. By the first week of February 2012, The Eden Clinic had a machine in-hand and was prepared to put it to use. On Feb. 24, Archbishop Paul Coakley blessed the machine and dedicated it to the work of protecting the unborn.

    Members of Council 4026 of Midwest City include parishioners from St. Philip Neri - Midwest City, St. Paul the Apostle - Del City, and St. Francis of Assisi - Tinker AFB.

    The ultrasound blessing ceremony can be viewed on YouTube, search Knights4026 at www.youtube.com.