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Denver, Colo., Jan 31, 2012 / 02:53 am (CNA).- Lighthouse Pregnancy Center hosted a dinner and auction on Jan. 26 to help raise the funds needed to open its doors as the first Catholic crisis pregnancy center in Denver, Colo.

“Lighthouse brings together the community to provide education, outreach and services that will encourage and uphold the dignity of women,” said board chairman, Laura Salvato.

Recently, Lighthouse secured property across the street from Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains’ new $6.3 million headquarters. The construction, which is still being completed, heavily relies on volunteer efforts and donations.

“By building and operating a crisis pregnancy center on this site, Lighthouse can offer a true choice to women who seek its services,” Salvato added.

Pro-life actor and film producer Eduardo Verastegui was the keynote speaker at the inaugural fundraiser.

Verastegui recently opened a pro-life medical center for women, Guadalupe Medical Center, in Los Angeles. He referred to it as “an oasis of life” in a “desert of death” because of its location in the midst of 10 abortion clinics.

“I am just so excited to hear that you are doing the same thing,” he told donors, “I think (this is) the best way to really win this culture and turn this into a culture of life.”

Executive director, Rosalindo Loano, spoke and shared her vision for the center to provide “hope and help for these women who need to know that they are strong and intelligent.”

“If they get into a bad situation, they do not have to have the choice of an abortion,” Loana said.

The fundraiser featured a live auction including a ski trip in the Rockies, dinner with Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles and Bishop James D. Conley of Denver, and a private showing of Verastegui’s newest film “Little Boy” in the home of the winning bidder.

“We need to think big and … raise just enough for what we need to keep saving many, many, many babies,” Verastegui said when the bidding began to slow.

Donors responded and raised over $40,000 from the auction alone.

Verastegui showed his latest short film “Crescendo” which tells the story of a mother struggling with the choice of whether or not to abort her child. The film will be available online this spring.