Governor Sarah Palin will headline a dinner recalling the life and painful euthanasia death of Terri Schiavo, who was subjected to two weeks of starvation and dehydration by a husband who no longer wanted to care of her.
Though the events surrounding her death were very difficult for Terri and her family, the foundation that bears her name is turning a negative into a positive.
The national controversy that erupted over the court-ordered decision that ended Terri Schiavo’s life by removing her feeding tube in 2005 has been channeled into a positive effort of awareness, education and advocacy through the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network. It supports thousands of families worldwide and marks Terri’s life on Terri’s Day, held April 5 in Philadelphia, that is an annual day of recognition and commemoration.
Archbishop Charles Chaput of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will celebrate “The National Memorial Mass for Terri’s Day” on Friday, April 5th, 2013 at 5:00pm at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, 18th Street & the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia. All are invited and encouraged to attend.
Governor Sarah Palin will be the honored speaker at the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network’s Award Gala and dinner following the mass, scheduled to begin at 6:30pm at the downtown Philadelphia Marriott. During the gala, the inaugural “Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Award” will be presented to Moe & Sana Maraachli .
The award honors an individual or family that defended the life of a loved one against overwhelming odds. Deborah Flora , actress, producer, radio talk show host and second runner-up to Miss America , will preside as emcee at the gala, which will include addresses from award-winning author and bioethicist Wesley Smith and critically acclaimed author and speaker Brian Gail , plus several celebrity video addresses.
Terri’s Day was established by Terri Schiavo’s family to remember her and foster education, prayer and activism regarding discrimination against the cognitively disabled, and advocacy for people in situations similar to what Terri and her family faced.
“Terri’s life and legacy continue to live on, as our nation is now aware of the immediate threat placed upon the hundreds of thousands of persons with cognitive disabilities,” says Bobby Schindler , Terri’s brother and Executive Director of the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network.
He added, “We invite churches to hold memorial services and to educate their congregations about the dignity of every human life, despite any disability or disease. We encourage the media and educational institutions to help dispel the myths and inaccuracies about Terri’s life and death by providing accurate, factual information. And we invite all people to reflect on the ethical considerations of caring for the weak and vulnerable.”
Wesley Smith, a noted attorney who is a watchdog on bioethics and end-of-life issues, will speak as well.
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“I am winging to Philadelphia to speak at the “Terri’s Day” gala fundraising dinner Friday night to support the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network. It’s such a worthy cause. The Schindler family have transformed their tragedy into lives of service to others,” he said. “As for my speech, it is going to be a case of Wesley Who? Sarah Palin is keynoting. Thanks to her for giving the Foundation such a powerful boost!”
He added: “And here’s a fair story in the Philadelphia Inquirer,byline Sandy Bauers, about Bobby Schindler, Terri’s brother–who is still pilloried from pillar to post by many in the media.”
For more information, or to purchase tickets for the gala and dinner with Governor Palin, visit Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network’s website at www.lifeandhope.com.