PIKE — Each August, a Wyoming County married couple aims to raise the community's awareness of the pro-life cause at the Wyoming County Fair. For eight years, Robert and Yvonne Smith have presented a "Respect Life Booth" at the fair, with plans already underway to do it again next year.
This month, the booth will be on the lawn of Holy Name of Mary Church in Ellicottville during the Ellicottville Fall Festival, which runs from Oct. 8-9. For two days, the display is set up on a corner of a main street in the Cattaraugus County village, where "virtually every vehicle that passes through Ellicottville is routed to pass." It has been seen by thousands, according to the Smiths, as a testament to how precious life is.
The display features a series of nine posters, all of which describe a fetus' development in the womb, as well as "informational posters that are presented in a positive educational sense," the Smiths said, as well as information and contact information for where to go if a woman is experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and is in need of a faith-based crisis pregnancy center.
"We feel the display is a good way to keep the sanctity of life in people's minds; not to forget the moral issues when voting, or when making serious decisions regarding life's situations. The materials are allowed to do all of the talking," the Smiths wrote in a letter to the Western New York Catholic.
The Smiths have already reserved a spot at the 2017 fair, and during the same time period during the summer, the booth has also been prominently featured at the lawn fete of St. Mary's Parish in East Arcade. According to the Smiths, each year's event has brought them positive feedback and has been a rewarding and interesting experience for not only them, but for anyone else who has helped them.
Through this effort, the Smiths have shown their commitment to the pro-life cause. They said many people who are currently experiencing the pregnancy of a friend or family member have stopped to share their stories. "We hope to find other events where we, or volunteers, may participate," the Smiths said.