Life Chain


National Life Chain

Shelby County Forms One Link in National Life Chain

Pro-lifers in Shelby County gathered at the courthouse in Sidney on Sunday, October 7, to pray and witness to the dignity of human life. They were part of a vast "Life Chain," across 1500 communities in North America.

Malorie Hussey, the first-place finisher in our local oratory contest earlier this year, presented her outstanding speech on the personal and societal effects of abortion. Participants then held signs along the streets of the court square during a period of silent prayer and witness. The event closed with a brief presentation by membership committee chair, Mary Schmiesing, who discussed the important of being active in the election of pro-life candidates in November.

Thank you to Malorie, Mary, to Sanna Aikin for providing bottled water, and to all who joined us for this year's Life Chain.Life Chain 2018





Signs of Life in Downtown Sidney (2017)

Shelby County pro-lifers joined more than a hundred thousand fellow citizens across the country on Sunday, October 1, forming a “Life Chain” in defense of preborn children and all vulnerable human persons.

About 50-60 attendees gathered at 2:30 at the courthouse and began with prayer led by Pastor David Weyrauch of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Sidney. Stephanie Esser, a senior at Anna High School presented her outstanding speech on euthanasia, which merited a 2nd place finish in this year’s RTL Oratory Contest. Then participants spread around the court square with pro-life signs and prayed and witnessed to passersby until the event closed at 3:30.

Thank you to all who attended and assisted in any way with our 2017 Life Chain.

Life Chain 2016Life Chain Draws Crowd to Court Square (2016)

Shelby County joined 1500 other communities across North America in the 29th annual Life Chain, October 2 on the court square in Sidney. The weather and the turnout were great, with about 100 pro-lifers on hand to display signs and pray for respect for life.

Fr. James Riehle of Holy Angels Catholic Church offered an opening prayer and Erin Gaerke, a first-year Ohio State University student then presented the speech that won her first place in Shelby County’s oratory contest earlier this year.

Attendees held pro-life signs along the streets surrounding the court square. Brisk Sunday afternoon traffic in the downtown area ensured that the message went out to a large number of area drivers and other passersby. Many thanks to all who participated and helped to make the event a success.

Life Chain 2015Life Chain Sends "Respect Life" Message (2015)

The court square in Sidney was the site of RTL’s annual Life Chain on Sunday, October 4. Nearly one hundred pro-lifers were on hand for a program that included a speech by Botkins High School senior Nathan Platfoot, the second-place winner in Right to Life's 2015 oratory contest. Platfoot, speaking about his 2 year-old goddaughter who was born prematurely, said: "To think that she could've been legally killed by an abortionist [at 25 weeks gestation] and to have no one with legal responsibility for her death is mind boggling. Thankfully she is alive and well, today...but it got me thinking. I began to do research on abortion."  With those words, Platfoot encouraged his listerners to think more deeply about how common abortion is.

Members of the local group Teens For Truth set up 400 luminaries around the court square for the event. They explained to the group that the luminaries were a "reminder of the many lives lost to and wounded by abortion.” Each lantern represented ten babies; the 400 symbolized the 4,000 children lost to abortion each day.

Following the program, attendees held signs along the streets of the court square. The purpose of the event, emcee Anne Schmiesing of Right to Life explained, "is to pray and witness for our society to respect unborn children and their parents, as well as those threatened by assisted suicide and other violations of human life and dignity." The event concluded with a closing prayer by Rev. Dan Hunt of the Petersburg area Catholic parishes.

Life Chain 2014

About 100 local pro-lifers turned out for the annual Life Chain on Sunday, October 5. It was a beautiful witness to the dignity of all human life. Following the chain, we had a successful Open House, which gave us the opportunity to share the renovated thrift shop and visit with area pro-life friends.

Thank you to all who helped make the event so meaningful: Pastor Steve Chapman of Sidney Wesleyan Fellowship; Christy (Trisler) Peterson, who delivered her powerful speech; Elizabeth Barhorst, who represented RTL's membership committee; and all those who assisted with the Open House. (See more photos from the Life Chain.)

Life Chain 2013



Life Chain 2012

Around 100 area pro-lifers turned out to witness for life at the annual Life Chain on October 7.

We are grateful to all of those who attended and who assisted in organizing the event, especially to Pastor Ken Castor of Redeemer Lutheran Church, who offered an opening prayer and a stirring sermon on the importance of defending the innocent unborn.

Weather Smiles on 2011 Life Chain

More than a hundred pro-lifers turned out in pleasent weather for the Shelby County Life Chain, Sunday, October 2, on the court square in Sidney.

The Life Chain is a prayer and witness event that offers a public display of respect for life and keeps the injustice of abortion at the center of our community's attention.

Father Daniel Hess, parochial vicar at Holy Angels Catholic Church in Sidney, offered an invocation, followed by remarks by the event's emcee and RTL's vice president, Tim Dietz.

Attendees then held pro-life signs along the streets adjacent to the court house. After nearly an hour of witness, participants gathered back at the court house for a closing prayer and refreshments.

Many thanks to all who joined us for the Life Chain this year, and to all who assisted.

Life Chain 2010

Area participants joined fellow pro-lifers from 1400 communities across the United States and Canada Sunday, October 3, in prayer and witness against abortion.

Deacon John Holthaus of Holy Angels Church opened the event with a prayer, followed by a speech Jean Goettemoeller, runner-up awardee in our 2010 oratory contest this spring. The group of approximately 100 participants then selected signs and dispersed to positions around the court house so as to be visible to motorists in downtown Sidney.

Thank you to all those who assisted with the Life Chain, and to all who attended.

Life Chain 2009

More than a hundred area residents turned out at the court square Sunday afternoon, October 4, to pray for an end to abortion. The annual Life Chain, a nationwide event that takes place in over 1400 cities and towns, is a peaceful demonstration meant to draw attention to the injustice of abortion and to promote greater respect for all human life.

Following an opening prayer by the Reverend Mark Hina of Sidney Apostolic Temple, attendees heard local teen Elizabeth Trisler deliver her national award-winning speech about the harmful effects of abortion for everyone involved in it. Participants then took signs with pro-life messages and lined up around the court square for a period of silent prayer and witness.

The event was sponsored by Right to Life of Shelby County. "It's so important for us to witness to the dignity of human life right now," said Right to Life co-director Kevin Schmiesing, "especially in light of the danger of anti-life measures being included in health care reform. It's always encouraging to see so many willing to step up and promote this cause."

2008 Life Chain/Open House Draws Crowd

More than a hundred pro-lifers witnessed and prayed at the annual Life Chain. Following an opening prayer by Fr. Pat Sloneker and a presentation of Elizabeth Trisler's award-winning speech, the group spread along the streets of the court square, holding signs and praying silently.

Many of the attendees visited the Open House immediately afterward, viewing our improved display space and enjoying refreshments and fellowship.

Thank you to Karen Berning, Ann Stidd, Elizabeth Trisler, Fr. Pat Sloneker, all the volunteers who helped and all those who attended.

Life Chain, Open House photo gallery...

©2007 Shelby County Right to Life, P.O Box 72, Sidney, Ohio, 45365