Tournament slated to raise money for The Pregnancy Center in Kailua-Kona

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KAILUA-KONA — The Big Island’s only pregnancy center will host a bowling tournament Saturday as part of their efforts to raise money and continue providing pregnancy care services to the island.

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KAILUA-KONA — The Big Island’s only pregnancy center will host a bowling tournament Saturday as part of their efforts to raise money and continue providing pregnancy care services to the island.

The Pregnancy Center in Kailua-Kona relies entirely on private donations to fund its services, said executive director Ana Schaetzle.

Saturday’s bowling tournament will take place the at KBXtreme Bowling on Palani Road, where 19 teams are scheduled to compete.

Doors will open at 9 a.m. with the first 14 teams starting to bowl at 9:30, said Matthew Schaetzle, director of operations for The Pregnancy Center. Five more teams will bowl at noon.

“We want everyone to have a great time and just make the time for the community to come together and support the services that we do so that there is something for low-income people in the community who don’t have insurance and really need a safe place to go,” said Matthew Schaetzle. “The Pregnancy Center is that place.”

Each of the 19 teams paid a minimum $500 registration fee, he said. They’re still taking teams interested in signing up as well as general donations.

The winner of the tournament will be determined not by the team’s score, Matthew Schaetzle said, but by the team that raises the most amount of funding.

There’s no cost for admission to the tournament and the event will also feature balloons, cake and face painting for children.

In addition to the fundraising, he said he hopes the event brings attention to the services The Pregnancy Center offers the community.

The center provides both clinical and educational services.

Ana Schaetzle said the facility offers pregnancy tests, limited ultrasounds as well as birthing and fertility classes.

She said much of the center’s clientele come from low-income households who often lack insurance.

It can sometimes take clients upwards of a month or two to schedule an appointment with a physician, Ana Schaetzle said. Her office can often see clients within a week or two.

That’s crucial, said nurse manager Julie Lederer, given the importance of the first trimester in a pregnancy.

That first trimester, she said, is when the majority of fetal development occurs and it’s crucial that prospective parents are aware of the steps they need to begin taking, such as restrictions on alcohol consumption and smoking as well as the need to start taking prenatal vitamins.

The center’s ultrasound allows clients to not only confirm a pregnancy, but also determine a due date and a fetus’ viability.

According to the center, that ultrasound procedure costs anywhere from $280 to $400, according to a grant request from the center. The center, however, offers the procedure free to all clients.

Since the center became a clinic in 2004, they added, they’ve performed more than 6,000 ultrasound exams.

“That is over $2 million worth of services,” the center wrote. “All free for the community.”

They also provide educational services, including what they call an “earn-while-you-learn” program.

That program gives clients an opportunity to learn about a wide range of issues related to birth and child care and complete worksheets on those lessons. Completion of each lesson earns clients a gift certificate for Target or Walmart.

In total, the center offers close to 150 different lessons.

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And while Ana Schaetzle said her Christian faith motivates her in her work, The Pregnancy Center isn’t tied to a specific church.

“That’s where the motivation comes from, is the religious belief,” she said. “Our Christian belief will prompt us to do what we do.”

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