Gala Tribute is a Pro-Life Reunion

Standing ovation for Joe Scheidler

A packed house of pro-life notables gives Joe Scheidler a huge standing ovation [Photo by Sam Scheidler]

Saturday evening was a gala celebration for pro-life activists. It was officially a tribute to Joe Scheidler, but it served as a “class reunion” for pro-life activists from all over the U. S.

Monica Miller, executive director of Citizens for a Pro-Life Society, and a long-time friend of the Scheidlers, did a fantastic job of bringing pro-life friends and family together at the Holiday Inn Mart Plaza in downtown Chicago.

As Joe arrived at the Holiday Inn he was greeted by a cheering group of teens from Crusaders for Life, who literally rolled out the red carpet for him amid dozens of yellow “LIFE” balloons. They clamored for autographs and shouted out, “Joe, Joe!” Check out a slideshow of pictures from the event plus a video tribute to Joe after the break!

Radical Pro-Aborts and Pro-Lifers Give Joe a Warm Welcome

Joe Scheidler greeted by a red carpet

Joe’s greeting with a red carpet and flash mob by the youth group Crusaders for Life [Photo by Sam Scheidler]

At the other extreme was the greeting by a contingent from the Illinois Choice Action Team. Joe took his “Stop Abortion Now” sign down to the corner of Orleans and Mart Center Drive to confront the opposition who shouted, “Racist, sexist, anti-gay, Joe Scheidler, go away.”

The Crusaders marched to the opposite corner of the intersection, still cheering and waving the yellow balloons, which further enraged the “Choice” folks whose vocabulary got increasingly vulgar. Finally a hotel security guard cautioned them to “knock it off.” That had no effect, and Scheidler had a party to go to, so he bid them a fond adieu and joined his 400 friends inside.

Pro-Life Notables Credit Joe with Inspiring their Work

David Bereit pays tribute to Joe Scheidler

David Bereit of 40 Days for Life pays tribute to Joe [Photo by Sam Scheidler]

Each sponsor of the Scheidler Tribute evening gave a brief remembrance of a “Joe Scheidler” moment or story, many of them remarking that Joe referred to them as “Young John” or “Young Doug” until it became clear that Joe called nearly everyone “young,” expect Jim Sedlak, who he called “Big Jim.”

Many of the speakers made statements like, “I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Joe Scheidler.” But when Eric Scheidler took his turn at the podium, he said, “I think I am truly the only one up here who can say I would not be here today if it were not for Joe Scheidler.”

The pro-life notables on the dais who gave testimonials were: Jack Ames, Patricia Bainbridge, Bill Beckman, Tom Brejcha, Tom Ciesielka, Jenn Giroux, Mary Ann Hackett, Paggy Hamill, Jerry Horn, John Jakubczyk, Al Kresta, Mary Marshmeier, Monica Miller, Lynn Mills, Janet Morana, Troy Newman, Bro. Paul O’Donnell, Ralph Rivera, Doug Scott, Eric Scheidler, JimSedlak and Chris Slattery. They each brought humor, nostalgia and poignant memories to the occasion.

Evening Ends with a Video Tribute

Monica and her team presented a short video on Joe’s life and pro-life activism, and the evening ended with a rendition of every verse of The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Check out a slideshow of pictures here and watch the video tribute below.

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