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Fraser Center raises more than $40,000 at luncheon

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POSTED: March 25, 2011 9:27 a.m.
Daniel Watkins/

The family of Fraser Counseling Center founder Dr. Whit Fraser gathers on stage during Wednesday’s luncheon at the YMCA as Fraser’s daughter, Sherry Somerville, sings a song to end the program. Whit Fraser also founded the Mary Lou Fraser Foundation for Families in honor of his late wife, Mary Lou Fraser.

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It seems The Fraser Counseling Center has quite a few friends who are willing to lend a helping hand, even when money is tight. About 250 community members threw their support behind the center by pitching in $41,334 during Wednesday’s Friends of Fraser fundraising luncheon.
Organizers asked attendees to donate what they could in order to allow the nonprofit center to continue to provide affordable counseling services. The overall goal was to match a gift of $45,000.
“It is our hope with your support that we can continue serving families,” David Morris, Fraser Counseling Center development director, told the audience. Morris also said the date of the luncheon — March 23 — would have been Whit and Mary Lou Fraser’s 60th wedding anniversary.
Executive Director Dr. Alan Baroody said more donations may be forthcoming as many attendees take their pledge cards home with them and make contributions at a later date.
During a lunch of Caesar salads, bread rolls, strawberry cheesecake and sweet tea, attendees listened to Baroody speak about the vision of the Frasers, who wanted to see nothing more than healthy, happy families in Liberty County. The center has served more than 2,000 children and 400 military members and their dependents over the past year. 
 “We came very close to meeting our overall goal of $90,000,” Baroody said. “Given the downturn in the economy, I have been very touched by the generosity of our community and their commitment to helping families through the ministry and mission of the The Fraser Center.”
The money gathered at the yearly fundraising luncheon is used to help with the cost of running the center, depending on clients’ needs, Morris said. Most funding comes from private donors.
“It is, for me, the mission itself of helping people and having the ability to be a part of something that is so instrumental in this community,” Morris said of his favorite part of planning the event. “We’re not only helping everyday families, but military families as
 well.”
The center provides a Christian environment where staffers help clients focus on healing their minds, bodies and souls. Services include individual, marital and family therapy, and the facility is staffed by pastoral counselors, psychiatrists, licensed clinical social workers and professional counselors.
Luncheon attendees also watched a slideshow that showcased photos of the Fraser family from over
the years and included history highlights and several client testimonials. To close the luncheon, the eldest Fraser daughter and other family members gathered on stage to sing the hymn “Because He Lives” to the audience.
Cathy O’Hagan, who attended the event for the first time, said she was happy to make it to the luncheon because it focused on a good cause. O’Hagan said she met Whit Fraser years ago when she sought counsel.
“It’s just a good thing,” O’Hagan said of the luncheon fundraiser. “I went to Dr. Fraser and to come out and be a part of something (like this), you can feel him here.”

 

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