By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – CHOICES 2017, an annual art sale, silent auction, and dinner benefiting Planned Parenthood Great Plains (PPGP) will be held Saturday, August 26. at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd Street.
The event will raise funds for the organization’s health centers in Oklahoma City. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
Chaired by Dr. Tiki Fitzsimmons, CHOICES 2017 will feature guest comedians from the Broad Comedy Tour.
An award-winning, all-women musical comedy and sketch troupe, Broad Comedy has been touring the country for over a decade.
That evening, five “irreverent, hilarious, and multi-talented” women will entertain guests as they sing, dance and delve into political satire. Led by Katie Goodman, Broad Comedy members sharing the stage will include Danielle Cohn, Cara Wilder, Tana Sirois, and Soren Kisiel.
Broad Comedy has received rave reviews from Comedy Central, the Los Angeles Times, and The Boston Globe. Co-founder and editor in chief of The Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington called the performance a “laugh-inducing, life-changing” show.
“This evening is a time for our PPGP family of supporters, patients, and staff to laugh together and celebrate our continued commitment to ensuring access to sexual and reproductive health care in Oklahoma City,” said Planned Parenthood Great Plains Interim CEO, Aaron Samulcek.
“We are thrilled the Broad Comedy Tour will provide us with an evening full of light-hearted comedic relief, a welcome break in our serious fight for our patients’ rights to access expert, compassionate sexual and reproductive health care.”
The event will feature an art sale showcasing dozens of works by 33 premier artists including Sarah Atlee, Diane Coady, Denise Duong, Erin Merryweather, Romy Owens, David Phelps, Sue Moss Sullivan and others.
The artists are donating a portion of their proceeds to support the essential health services provided at Planned Parenthood health centers in the region.
Guests will have the opportunity to bid on silent auction items ranging from restaurant and retail gift certificates to themed packages.
“Planned Parenthood helps individuals better understand their own bodies, the challenges they face, and all available options,” said Marilynn Artus, curator for the silent auction. “Keeping our services accessible will never be more important than it is now.”
During the program, PPGP will recognize various individuals for their support. CHOICE 2017 Award recipients include: Volunteer of the Year – Linda Brandenberger, PHR, RN; Sally Mock Friend of Planned Parenthood Award – Kathy Harms; Rod Frates Choice Award – Paula Sanford; and the Margaret Sanger Legacy Award will be presented to Dr. Eli Reshef.
“Planned Parenthood Great Plains is proud to host more than 400 Oklahomans at this time honored tradition,” said Planned Parenthood Great Plains Board Member, Dr. Dana Stone. “Choices is our annual chance to say thank you to our loyal supporters and raise funds for the important work inside PPGP’s health centers.”
Planned Parenthood is one of the nation’s leading providers of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men and young people, and the nation’s largest provider of sex education. Today, 38,000 Planned Parenthood staff members and volunteers work to provide nearly 4.7 million people worldwide with the means to make responsible choices about their sexual and reproductive health.
Services include all forms of birth control, annual exams for women, breast and cervical cancer screenings, STD testing and treatment, HIV testing, urinary tract and yeast infections, vasectomy counseling, abortion, and more
In addition to the education programs, numerous training programs are provided to 43,000 professionals who work with children, teens, and young adults.
According to a 2016 survey, 26 percent of patients at a Planned Parenthood site said it was the only place they could go for the services they required.
Dinner reservations for CHOICE 2017 are $125, with preferred seating at an additional cost. Sponsorships are available. For more information or to make reservations, visit www.partyforpp.org/choices-2017.