ORTL Needs YOU to Volunteer at a Pro-Life Fair Booth

Ashley Sadler

Communications Director

If you’re a pro-life advocate in Oregon, you probably know that our state has some of the most extreme abortion laws in the country. But you might be surprised to find out that many people aren’t aware of just how radical Oregon is.

It’s critical that our neighbors are well-informed. And that’s where you come in!

Oregon Right to Life would like to challenge you to volunteer at a pro-life fair booth this summer.

Pro-life fair booths are a tried and true way to start meaningful conversations with your fellow community members – and those conversations can save lives.

Debbi Canepa is the board president of ORTLEF, vice president of Washington County’s local Right to Life chapter and the primary pro-life fair coordinator at her local fair. 

“I strongly believe that it is in the fair booth that pro-life people have the best chance to talk to our fellow citizens about the pro-life cause in a non-threatening environment,” says Canepa, a retired professor who taught embryology. “It is a lot of work to organize volunteers for a 10-day fair, but it is well worth the effort.”

She confirms that a shocking number of people are profoundly uninformed about fetal development and Oregon’s radical abortion laws. ORTLEF resources available in fair booth displays, including scientifically accurate three-dimensional fetal models, can help fill those gaps.

“It is wonderful to be able to educate them,” Canepa says.

Fair coordinating can also help connect pro-life advocates with like-minded individuals who may otherwise feel isolated, she points out, though coordinating a fair booth isn’t without its challenges.

“The biggest challenge is trying to make sure that each volunteer is a good fit for our booth,” Canepa says. There have been “a few ‘stinkers’ over the years,” she jokes. “But overall the volunteers are excellent.”

Canepa also has a helpful hint for coordinators struggling to recruit new people to staff booths: “The best way to ensure we get good volunteers is through the recommendations from our current volunteers.”

She urges all pro-life Oregonians to consider starting up a pro-life booth at their county fair if one doesn’t already exist. “This is the most important way we contact our fellow Oregonians and educate them on this vital human rights issue,” Canepa says.

And pro-life advocates shouldn’t worry if a conversation with a pro-choice person doesn’t end with that individual instantly renouncing their opinions.

“You are there to start a conversation, not convert someone on the spot,” she says. “Sometimes just opening someone’s mind just a little by planting a seed about when life begins, or what does abortion really involve, or when does [an] embryo/fetus feel pain, or any pro-life topic can make a huge difference in someone else’s thinking on the subject.”

We hope you’ll consider jumping in and helping spread the pro-life message at your local fair. To get started, reach out to Community Outreach Director Makyra Williamson at makyra@ortl.org.

Check out a listing of Oregon’s county fairs below:

Coordinators Needed (no ORTLEF booth yet)Volunteers Needed (existing ORTLEF booth)
Baker County Fair – Baker City, August 4–9Clackamas County Fair – Canby. August 13–17
Benton County Fair – Corvallis, July 31–August 3Coos County Fair – Myrtle Point, July 23–27
Clatsop County Fair – Astoria, July 30–August 3Crook County Fair – Prineville, August 7–10
Columbia County Fair – St. Helens, July 17–21Deschutes County Fair – Redmond, July 31–August 4
Hood River County Fair – Hood River, July 24–27Douglas County Fair – Roseburg, August 7–10
Jefferson County Fair – Madras, July 24–27Gilliam County Fair – Condon, August 26–September 1
Josephine County Fair – Grants Pass, August 7–11Grant County Fair – John Day, August 7–10
Sherman County Fair – Moro, August 19–24Harney County Fair – Burns, September 3–7
Wallowa County Fair – Enterprise, August 2–10Jackson County Fair – Central Point, July 16–21
Wasco County Fair – Tygh Valley, August 15–17Klamath County Fair – Klamath Falls, August 1–4
Lake County Round Up – Lakeview, August 29–September 2
Lane County Fair – Eugene, July 24–28
Linn County Fair – Albany, July 18–20
Malheur County Fair – Ontario, July 30–August 3
Marion County Fair – Salem, July 11–14
Morrow County Fair – Heppner, August 14–17
Polk County Fair – Rickreall, August 7–10
The New Lincoln County Fair – Newport, July 4–6
Tillamook County Fair – Tillamook, August 7–10
Umatilla County Fair – Hermiston, August 7–10
Union County Fair – La Grande, July 31–August 3
Washington County Fair – Hillsboro, July 19–28
Wheeler County Fair – Fossil, August 7–10

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