Heartbeat of Hardin County held their annual appreciation banquet, Saturday, March 24th. The banquet is to thank those whohave given time and funds to Heartbeat.


During this year' event Gregg King from Bridgeport Church opened with a prayer which was followed by food and music. ThenJulie Zaring, Executive Director of Heartbeat, gave a presentation about what happened during 2017.


Highlights from Zaring's presentation included that in 2017 we have almost equal donations from Churches as individuals."This was nice to see." Said Zaring " for many years donations from individuals were much higher than churches, whichmeans, that more churches are stepping up to support what we do."


Zaring discussed have numbers of people using their services were down compared to previous year. She stated that otherorganizations are doing free pregnancy tests in the community, some people still don't know what we have to offer and somepeople want things just given to them and they don't want to attend a class to get it. This summer Heartbeat is planning asocial media blitz to help get the information out to people.


During the presentation, Zaring focused on all the events that they have been doing in the community. Programs have beenpresented to grades 6-12 on relationship education, teen dating violence and sex trafficking. Two community events wereheld for mothers and daughters on sex trafficking called "Priceless." All of the sex trafficking events were done in partnershipwith Deb Oestreich, Crossroads Crisis Center.


Other events included the Hardin County fair and awareness activities at school football and basketball games about domesticand teen dating violence.


Following the presentation the "Friend of Heartbeat Awards" was handed out. These awards are given to those who havegone above and beyond to help the Mission of Heartbeat. The first award went to Marsha Watkins who has been involved for26 years with Heartbeat. Watkins is a current hotline volunteer. She has also been in charge of the Scioto River Run fundraising event for a number of years. Zaring said "She has been a friend and someone I can talk to for advice. Here guidanceover the year has been invaluable."


The business "Friend of Heartbeat Award" went to the Hardin County YMCA for all they do for our clients. For many years theyhave adopted up to 6 of our families to provide Christmas presents. Many Heartbeat clients don't qualify for the county giftprogram, because they make too much money. Clients who have been the recipient of the gifts have cried and been sograteful.


Heartbeat of Hardin County is a pregnancy resource center that provides infant car seats, cribs and other items to parents withchildren under four. The programs are not income based, but classes are required to get certain things. For more informationyou can contact Heartbeat at 419-674-4716.