Sarah Palin Speaks at Missouri Southern


Matt Barney | The Chart

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is the keynote speaker for the LifeChoices fundraising dinner held at MSSU on Sept. 25, 2014. 

Matt Barney, staff writer

Former Vice Presidential candidate and Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin was on hand as the keynote speaker for the 25th annual LifeChoices Health Network fundraising and informational event on Sept. 25. The night started out with a catered dinner for donors in the Billingsly ball room followed by the keynote address which took place in the Taylor Performing Arts Center. 

“This year is very special because it’s our 25th anniversary so we needed to do something wonderful and special,” said Rita Lawson, director for LifeChoices. “We knew that Governor Palin’s life had a lot of things in it similar to some of the things our clients face so we reached out to her and she accepted our invitation.”

Previous Speakers at the event have included Dr. Ben Carson and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

“I’m very glad I get to be here,” said Palin. “I got to run over and take a quick tour of the clinic and I was just so impressed, it’s a wonderful and unique type of program that the rest of the country could certainly learn from.”

LifeChoices is a non-profit organization that provides holistic reproductive health services and education through their three clinics in the Joplin area.

“I wanted to shed a little bit of light for the rest of the country on LifeChoices, on this most wonderful program and I think it’s quite providential being in Joplin anyway knowing what the city has gone through, their resiliency, a city full of overcomers in less than ideal circumstances, and how that spirit of resiliency that the rest of the country could really embrace and emulate and better itself by understanding,” said Palin.

After leaving office in 2009, Palin became a political commentator for the FOX News Channel and published her autobiography, Going Rogue: An American Life which sold more than two million copies. During her speech, the former Governor talked about some of the challenges she faced in her own life.

“I’ve been so blessed, but we’ve been through some circumstances that other people would look at and say ‘really, that’s not really ideal what you’re going through,’” she said. “From my own pregnancy, to my daughters unplanned pregnancy, to the diagnosis that the doctor gave me when my youngest was just 12 weeks old within me that he would be born with down syndrome…my son at the same time getting ready for his first deployment overseas to a war zone, and I was Governor of Alaska, just a whole lot of things happening at once. In addition to getting the call to be asked to be the Vice Presidential Candidate, so it was a whirlwind of a time.”

LifeChoices hoped to raise $400,000 during the event, which is close to a third of their annual fundraising.

“This event serves as a way to thank those individuals, to tell them all that has been accomplished in the past year, and of course to raise continued awareness and support from community members,” said Jordynn Griffith, communications coordinator.