Event raises funds for mobile testing center

A little more than a year since announcing plans to change its name and its destiny, Gateway Express Testing Center is moving forward with plans to expand its services.

Last October, officials with Gateway Women’s Clinic said that it was changing its name. It also said that while its past had been focused on pregnancy testing and care, it would soon become a medical clinic that offered a variety of service.

Those services includes things like providing ultrasounds for its patients, as well as testing for sexually transmitted diseases and sexually transmitted infections.

Director Julie Seay said last week that the change has been successful.

The Knights of Columbus donated a state-of-the-art ultrasound system over the summer, replacing one that had been borrowed.

The group is going into schools to talk to students with a program called “Life Wize,” which has a goal of helping students make better decisions.

And now, the organization is on a fundraising mission that could help purchase a mobile testing facility, which can be taken to various locations to provide the same types of tests that are offered at its Sixth and Main Street location.

Seay said the mobile testing facility will costs more than $135,000, along with about $30,000 for a sonogram machine and $70,000 for operating costs.

She is so confident that the money can be raised that Gateway already has placed a down payment.

During a fundraising gala held Thursday at 10 West Main, Seay said the organization has received a pledge from an anonymous donor to match gifts up to $60,000.

The goal of Thursday’s gala was to raise $16,000 in pledges, along with $2,000 per month that can be used for operations.

“That is what we need in new money so that we can move forward and do the bus and help new clients,” Seay said.

She said the testing center is seeing an increase in clients, none of whom are charged for the services.

“Last week, we saw eight in one day. That use to be what we would have seen in a week. It has increased a lot,” Seay said.

“We want to make sure we can offer our services for free.”

The fundraiser featured author Everett Piper, who is the president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, as the keynote speaker.

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