On October 9, Joe Scheidler spoke in Duluth, MN and on Oct. 21 he spoke in Orlando, FL. Both events were the annual fundraising banquets of branches of Pro-Life Action Ministries, which is headquartered in St. Paul, MN. Jim Tuttle, manager of the Duluth branch, coordinated activities for the Duluth event and served as Master of Ceremonies at the dinner. Joe’s old friend Rilla Opelt met him at the airport and drove him to the Hampton Inn where he met other friends from the past, Bill Purdy and Marsha Ness.
Ann Scheidler accompanied Joe to Orlando, where they were met at the airport by Judy Madsen Johnson. Judy made history when the U. S. Supreme Court heard her buffer zone case, Madsen v. Women’s Health Center. Madsen had challenged the Florida court that had imposed a 36-foot buffer zone around the abortion clinic entrances and a 300-foot “no-approach” zone around the clinic, which basically prohibited pro-lifers from speaking with patients unless they indicated that they wanted to talk with the pro-lifer. The Supreme Court upheld the 36-foot buffer zone, but overturned the 300-foot “no-approach” provision of the injunction, as well as some of the other intrusions on the pro-lifers’ First Amendment rights.
Joe with stalwart activist Larry Schmidt in Orlando, Oct 9 [Photo by Ann Scheidler]
Joe Visits Ailing Activist
Judy had arranged for the Scheidlers to pay a visit to Larry Schmidt, a stalwart activist who is no longer able to participate in protests due to health problems. Larry and his wife Eileen were pleased with the surprise visit.
Jerry and Marilynn Chase served as chauffeurs to take the Scheidlers from their hotel to the banquet at the First Baptist Church of Orlando. Jerry and Marilyn relocated from their home in St. Paul, MN in order to head up the Pro-Life Action Ministries branch in Orlando. They have been tireless in their fight for the unborn.
Art Ally served as Master of Ceremonies for the evening. Brother Paul O’Donnell, co-founder of the Pro-Life Action Ministries, spoke about the mission of the organization and appealed to their supporters to make a generous contribution. Singer Debbie Hart performed several pro-life songs. A teenage mom, Alonya Howard, with her baby Jamar, and her mother Rosland Collier, expressed their gratitude that a sidewalk counselor reached out to them and offered them an alternative to the abortion they had planned.
Joe Scheidler gave the main banquet address which drew a standing ovation from the audience of three hundred.