The Little House That Could
The Story of CPCI’s Sarasota Clinic
In a deserted area of downtown Sarasota, stood a little, grey house that had fallen into disrepair. One day in 1994, Donn and Marilyn Tipton bought the house to restore it as an investment property. However, not long after, they found the house standing in the ominous shadow of a huge construction site – Planned Parenthood’s new regional headquarters. As pro-life Baptists, the Tiptons were not happy about having the national abortion provider in Sarasota. That’s when they crossed paths with a stalwart crusader for the unborn: Jim Styer. Styer had already begun to organize once-a-week prayer vigils in front of the abortion clinic, but God was ready to do more.
Like David from the Old Testament, destined to take on Goliath, CPCI found itself at the right place, at the right time—ready, able, and eager to go head to head with the abortion giant Planned Parenthood. It just so happened that this successful pro-life non profit medical clinic, poised for expansion, was about to find itself on the receiving end of a most generous contribution.
Pro Life Donation Funding CPCI’s Expansion
In early 2015, after CPCI’s CEO Gary Ingold was addressing parishioners at St. Isabel’s Catholic Church a pro-life parishioner called Ingold with a generous offer to fund the build-out and first-year expenses of CPCI’s next expansion clinic, wherever it might be, but hinted strongly, “perhaps in Sarasota.”
CPCI was already moving forward with plans to expand into more of Florida’s most abortion-vulnerable communities, i.e., areas with large populations of minorities and college students—Planned Parenthood’s primary targets.
It didn’t take long for CPCI to find out about the Tiptons’ rental property at 1419 7th Street in Sarasota, right next to Planned Parenthood’s Regional Headquarters. “They thought it may fit into their plans to expand,” recalls Tipton, “and by December 2016, we were working on the lease agreement.”
Non Profit Medical Clinic Team Came Together As Connections Are Made
Meanwhile, the medical team that would soon staff CPCI’s Sarasota clinic was already taking shape. Once again, as Divine Providence would have it, the right people came together at the right moment.
On a Saturday in September 2016, Dr. Karen Liebert felt a strong “push” to attend the local 40 Days for Life activities outside of Planned Parenthood, where she encountered Pam Stenzel who was closely involved with CPCI, running its SHARE (Sexual Health And Relationship Education) program, which aims to prevent teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.
Within a week, Stenzel and CEO, Gary Ingold were sitting in Liebert’s living room, sharing their vision for a new, life-affirming pregnancy clinic in Sarasota. By the end of the visit, Liebert enthusiastically agreed to serve as the clinic’s medical director.
Liebert immediately thought of two associates from nearby Blake Hospital and on December 1, 2016, God brought Patty Madsen, RN, and Carol Fisher, RDMS to her door. She seized the opportunity to let Madsen and Fisher in on the secret of CPCI’s plans. That very evening, the trio decided to join forces as the new clinic’s professional medical team.
On June 9, 2017, CPCI quietly opened the freshly painted doors of its newest non profit medical clinic in Sarasota. Within a few short weeks, more and more young women were finding their way to the little, grey house. In late September 2017, the little, grey house welcomed its first Abortion Pill Reversal client – a service that has steadily expanded at this little house of miracles.
Meanwhile, the CPCI Sarasota staff teamed up with Jim Styer’s skilled army of sidewalk counselors to ensure every woman heading into Planned Parenthood is aware that free testing for pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, free ultrasounds, free counseling, and life-affirming options are waiting for her “just around the corner.” The sidewalk volunteers have proved highly effective, providing signage that reroutes Planned Parenthood clients to CPCI and encountering women with friendly, pro-life encouragement.
Thanks to Divine Providence bringing together Donn Tipton, Jim Styer, a passionate and professional medical team, and Community Pregnancy Clinics, “The Little House that Could” stands strong in Sarasota as the home of life-saving services for moms and babies at risk of abortion. All thanks to the generosity of preborn donations from people like you!
Community Pregnancy Clinics is a non profit medical clinic dedicated to saving lives. If you would like to make a pro life donation to one of the best pro life organizations to donate to, visit our donate page to see the various opportunities you have to be a part of our mission.