The Women’s Support Center will host its 10th annual Celebrate Life banquet on Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Ingleside Hotel in Pewaukee.

The keynote speaker for the evening will be Bishop Donald J. Hying of the Diocese of Madison, well-known to Milwaukee audiences as a former auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee who has long been a champion for the rights of the unborn.

The event will begin at 5 p.m. with a cocktail hour. Dinner will be served at 6:15 p.m.

Founded in 2007, the Women’s Support Center of Milwaukee serves women and families in need, providing free pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, baby supplies, breastfeeding and childcare classes, natural family planning classes and more.

Maryclare Stephens, executive director of the Women’s Support Center, told the Catholic Herald that the pandemic has brought a rise in new clients to the center.

“We began to see a little different demographic as more mothers had lost their jobs due to the shutdown,” she said. “While it was sad to see the devastation brought upon these women with the loss of their job, WSC was there for them to support them materially but also emotionally and spiritually, as our goal is to help draw souls closer to God.”

COVID also meant that the WSC lost one of its top fundraising efforts of the year in the form of its baby bottle campaign. “We are hoping to make up for it in our upcoming banquet,” said Stephens.

The time to support women and families who are at risk for choosing abortion is now, Stephens added. Bishop Hying was invited to be the keynote speaker because he bears a “strong pro-life message” accompanied by concrete action in defense of the unborn and their mothers.

“We are living through some very troubled times. There is much fear and uncertainty,” said Stephens. “As we now face one of the most pro-abortion presidential administrations in the history of our country, the most innocent and vulnerable among us are in grave danger — the babies in the womb. We need, now more than ever, a strong message of encouragement to stand up for the unborn babies.”

Masks will be allowed at the event but not required. Tables will seat 10 but seating options that allow for greater social distancing will be available as an option on the registration form. Reservations are $60 per person, free for priests and religious.

An RSVP is requested by Feb. 17 and can be completed online at

Bishop Donald J. Hying