Cross the Bridge for Life sponsors fund grant program

Allegra Thatcher, Assistant Editor.

When the 15th annual Cross the Bridge for Life was cancelled this June, organizers already had a contingency plan, but they didn’t know what a significant impact it would make. To celebrate 15 years, the Steering Committee planned a grant program to support some members of the Life Coalition — pregnancy centers and organizations from the Greater Cincinnati Area that support the pro-life movement.

Karen Riegler, chair of the Steering Committee, said they had originally planned to give about $5,000 from the treasury to an organization or two. However, what began as a small award turned into a major support fund for many organizations.

Weeks before the annual event, the committee made the difficult decision to cancel it. She and her team reached out to companies that usually sponsor it, and asked them if they would consider using their donations for grants instead of the cancelled event. Many of them instantly said yes. The Paying it Forward Grant was created.

“It was very heartening when our sponsors, especially our major sponsor, Johnson Nash, absolutely didn’t bat an eye to provide their sponsorship,” said Mrs. Riegler. “They knew we would put it to good use. And so many of our event sponsors, our red rose and our white rose sponsors, many of them followed suit.”

Mrs. Riegler said the Cross the Bridge event is normally an opportunity to “witness to life and bring awareness to the organizations in the area who support the decision to choose life.”

The grant program will keep the Life Coalition organizations running in spite of this year’s strange events. Ten of the 20 submitted an application, and three judges provided awards to the recipients. Letters went out to recipients this week with the good news.

“The sponsor support provided the ability to substantially increase the funds and everyone who applied for the grant received something,” said Mrs. Riegler. This is important, she said, because they are all experiencing the same demand for services and support while receiving much less funds to meet them.

“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of them were not able to have their fundraisers that they normally schedule, so I would think that it would have a substantial impact,” said Mrs. Riegler. “These agencies work very hard to support women and men to choose life, and after they do as well. They offer a lot of things like parenting classes and ongoing support.”

These needs didn’t go away because of COVID, she said. “I think this (grant) should have an impact on how these agencies are able to be able to respond.”

Life Coalition
A Caring Place
Adoption Professionals, LLC
CareNet Pregnancy Services of N. Ky
Catholic Charities
Cincinnati Right to Life Education FDN
Diocesan Catholic Children’s Home
Elizabeth’s New Life Women’s Center
Eve Center
Franciscan Daughters of Mary
Healthy Beginnings
Healthy Moms and Babes
Life Forward Pregnancy Care of Cincinnati
Madonna House
New Hope Center
Old St. Mary’s Pregnancy Center
Pregnancy Center East
Pregnancy Center West
Pregnancy Resource Center
Reach Out Pregnancy Center
Vivian’s Victory

Cross the Bridge Grant Sponsors

Johnson Nash Metal Products, Inc.
Fred Espenscheid Plumbing
Riegler Blacktop, Inc.
Barb and Joe Knight
Heritage Bank
Kaiser Pickles
M. C. Steel & Crane Service
Roether Service Station Maintenance
Ruehl Electric
William J. Kathman, Jr. Attorney at Law
Schilling Marketing & Associates
Middendorf Funeral Home
James & Martha Suetholz
Mr. Mike Mulcahy

Cross the Bridge Grants

Pregnancy Resource Center — A Place of Hope
Washer/dryer for Blessing Room to launder donated items.

CareNet Pregnancy Services of Northern Kentucky
Ten users simultaneously support their new online parenting program, Brightcourse.

Reachout Pregnancy Center
To purchase three tablets for use by clients in counseling rooms for Brightcourse program.

Pregnancy Center West
Implement Brightcourse Program

Pregnancy Center East
To install a dressing room area for expectant moms to try on maternity clothing with privacy
and dignity.

Elizabeth’s New Life Center
In support of their Capital Campaign — to open a new Women’s Center in Mt. Healthy and to
sustain its operations for the first two years as we combat the exceptionally high rates of
abortion in that zip code area.

Cincinnati Right to Life Educational Foundation
New initiative to reach women at Planned Parenthood with “Blessing Bags.” The bags will
contain important information about life issues as well as a couple small gifts.

Catholic Charities, Diocese of Covington
To help continue the Life Line Fund with helps birth parents by covering costs of rent, utilities,
food or other needs such as diapers and formula if they have other children.

Diocesan Catholic Children’s Home
Residential Treatment and Behavioral Therapy Program support.

New Hope Pregnancy Center
Support expansion of their ultrasound program by adding additional sonographers to staff and
funds towards machines at other locations.