By Rai Rojas
Editor’s note. My family and I will be on vacation through August 25. I will occasionally add new items but for the most part we will repost “the best of the best” — the stories our readers have told us they especially liked over the last ten months.
That’s what the Flyers and the posters at this year’s Annual National Right to Life Convention said. Live Tweet to Win! We announced it during General Sessions; the eye-catching and colorful flyer was part of the registration bag given to every attendee. The Flyers were also prominently placed on different booths and pin boards around the Milwaukee Hyatt Regency in Downtown Milwaukee.
(Psst. The story of who won is fascinating. It’s down a ways in this post.)
The concept of the contest was simple, tweet a comment during a general session or workshop using the #NRLC2017 hashtag and your tweet was placed in a drawing. On the final day of the Convention, and after the last workshop ended, a random drawing would determine the winner.
The prize bag included: an autographed copy of Ben Shapiro’s new book Say It’s so; an autographed copy of Gosnell – The Untold Story of America’s Most Prolific Serial Killer by Ann McElhinney; an autographed copy of Ryan Bomberger’s book Not Equal: Civil Rights Gone Wrong; an autographed copy of Wesley J. Smith’s new book, Culture of Death.
The gift basket also included full audio CDs of the Convention’s opening day’s sessions including Ben Shapiro, David Daleiden, and The Gosnell presentation by Ann McElhinney.
The winning tweet was a picture posted by Bryce “Fish” Fisher of himself with Ben Shapiro and Fish’s friend Alexander J. Hostetler, both of DeWitt, Michigan.
Two 18-year-old young men winning four autographed books written by international newsmakers, and several CDs highlighting the worst that the pro-abortion side has to offer is something of great value to any of us in the pro-life movement. When I exchanged emails with Fish (it’s Bryce’s preferred sobriquet), he explained how he came about to be at the National Right to Life Convention.
Several weeks before the event, Bryce heard on one of Ben Shapiro’s wildly popular podcasts that he was going to be at the National Right to Life Convention in Milwaukee. Fish and his buddy Alexander knew they had to get there. With severely limited funds, they made a budget, and they made a plan.
After paying for each of their registrations, they planned on getting a ride from DeWitt, on the eastern side of Michigan, to Muskegon on the west – a little over 100 miles away. They’d get dropped off at Muskegon and take a 3-hour ferry across Lake Michigan to Milwaukee. They couldn’t afford the prices of the rooms at the Convention venue, so they rented a small room in a “budget hotel” near the Milwaukee airport.
At this point, they were registered for the convention and had an inexpensive room on the other side of town. Almost 8 miles away from the convention to be a bit more precise. They knew going into this that the only method of transportation they could afford was bipedal.
That’s right – their plan required they wake up at 5:30 AM and walk the 2 ½ hours to the Convention site. They attended workshops, general sessions, had their picture taken with Ben Shapiro, showed up at the evening session and then walked back to their hotel. Always tired, sometimes hungry, sometimes thirsty – they never got back until after midnight after walking the dangerously tough streets of Milwaukee. They woke the next day at 5:30 AM and did it all over again.
I asked Fish why suffer through all the difficulties and he said, “We heard about the convention through Ben Shapiro – we are both huge fans of him. We decided to come because abortion is an issue we both feel incredibly strongly about, and felt it was time for us to act on our pro-life beliefs and meet people who shared similar views.”
Fish and Alexander are tall, cheerful, and you can’t miss them. I recall seeing them walking around the convention, going in and out of workshops – they are 18 years old.
They humble me. And I’m not the least bit embarrassed to say their passion, drive, and commitment to the unborn moves me to tears. Fish’s tweet with Shapiro shows two beaming kids next to one of their idols. Their winning was providential.
Fish and Alexander, two extraordinary young men, are the reason we win. As a seasoned veteran in this long fight for life- it does my heart good to know they (and countless others just like them) will be following in our footsteps.