Looking back at the 2016 NRLC Convention

By Dave Andrusko

Karli Olson of Oregon receives the 2016 National Right to Life Oratory Contest first place award at the NRLC convention closing banquet from NRLC President Carol Tobias. Miss Olson presented her speech at the banquet.

Karli Olson of Oregon receives the 2016 National Right to Life Oratory Contest first place award at the NRLC convention closing banquet from NRLC President Carol Tobias. Miss Olson presented her speech at the banquet. (Photo credit: Karen Cross)

NRL News Today posted stories all during the NRLC national convention last week, and picked up the pace yesterday. We will be writing more stories the reminder of the week and including new stories in the July digital edition of National Right to Life News.

Looking back at the July 7-9 convention, it would be difficult to choose the highlights. Honestly, there were that many times in which you practically burst your buttons.

Let’s start with the Saturday closing Banquet in which Special Guest pro-life champion Rep. Chris Smith gave us a legislative update.

The main speakers–the husband and wife team of the Hon. Matthew & Mercedes Schlapp–were delightful.

What made their back and forth commentary so appropriate (in addition to being so amusing) was in large measure because the Schlapps heaped praise on the people who came to the convention and to the many pro-lifers who couldn’t but who were there in spirit; on the faithfulness of our Movement, in season and out; on the growing number of young people who are assuming pro-life leadership positions; and on the leadership of National Right to Life.

Before any of the adults spoke, Karli Olson of Oregon received the 2016 NRLC Oratory Contest first-place prize from NRLC President Carol Tobias. High school juniors and seniors research, write, and present pro-life speeches.

As is the tradition, Miss Olson delivered her speech to the banquet attendees that had won her first prize. She has a bright future, no doubt about it, and the babies are all the better for it.

More than most years, I peeked into the Teens for Life Convention which runs concomitantly with the National Convention. I’d been told that speakers you may have heard elsewhere always are on their “A” game when they spoke to the teens, and that’s exactly what I found. And, needless to say, the teens were sharp, perceptive, and on their game.

I’m writing other posts about the convention elsewhere today at NRL News Today, so let me close with this.

This was my 35th convention. Each has been unique in its own way, each has a dynamic of its own, and each stretches the hearts and minds of staff and speakers and attendees.

This particular convention was absolutely fascinating. What jumped out at me was not just the caliber of the workshops, Prayer Breakfast, and closing Banquet–superb as they all were–but the intensity of the audience.

It was if they hung on every word. When I talked with people after a session, I was very impressed by how thoroughly they had understood what was at stake, had written down what they were asked to do, and then voiced commitment to do it.

What a three-days. And, before I forget, you can order CDs, MP3, and photographs. The information is in a separate post: “NRL Convention resources and photos available next week.”