Anne and Alex Go To Washington DC

I gave a short presentation at the National Press Club for the Law of Life Summit, Ave Maria School of Law.

Anne Carmichael, Law of Life Summit, (Photo Courtesy of

Vitae Addresses Law Students at Nat’l Press Club

Vitae Foundation Vice President Anne Carmichael spoke before a packed room for the Law of Life Summit, held at the National Press Club and hosted by Ave Maria School of Law January 21, 2012.  The Washington, D.C., event was held in conjunction with the annual March for Life.  Ave Maria’s Royce Hood coordinated the Summit bringing together pro-life leaders from around the country.   See related article from

Anne spoke to the law students and lawyers gathered about how paid and earned media are critical tools to move public opinion and change the culture by making abortion unthinkable.  She informed them that legislative initiatives are also opportunities for changing public opinion, as those gathered were especially interested in the law.  She gave specific examples of past efforts where Vitae’s research and ads were put to the test and profoundly impacted the target audience.  She noted: “Where Vitae ads go up, abortions go down.”

Among the speakers were Sam Lee, with Campaign Life Missouri; Allan Parker, The Justice Foundation; Professor Carter Snead, Notre Dame School of Law; Dana Cody, Life Legal Defense Fund; Kristan Hawkins, Students for Life; John-Henry Weston,; and Fr. Michael Orsi, Chaplain for Ave Maria School of Law.  Dr. Pat Castle with Life Runners was Master of Ceremonies.  A special presentation was made to Nellie Gray, President, March for Life.

Anne is also Communications Officer and Advisory Board Member for the National LIFE Runners.  They pray, run and raise money for Pregnancy Help Centers.  They also are known for communicating life messages by the shirts they wear in each race they run and events they attend.  To learn more about the LIFE Runners, go to their website

Anne and her son, Alex, also participated in the March for Life that Anne described as being like a sea of pro-life people from all over the World!  Anne said the crowd was like water — so massive it spilled over everywhere.  She can’t wait to go back.  “As a pro-life activist, the March for Life is food for the soul.  We draw strength from each other and take that back to fortify our efforts making abortion unthinkable.”

Vitae Websites


Vitae Foundation 1731 Southridge Drive, Jefferson City, MO 65109

Toured the White House and Capitol

Me – waiting at White House gate for the rest of the gang.

 with our friends…the LIFE Runners.

LIFE Runners

…And true to form, our coach made us run to get to the Capitol tour on time.

Not the sleet on the ground…

nor the heels on my shoes…

kept me from running.  Well they did some.  I was the last one to cross the finish line…with 90 seconds to spare before the tour left without us.  (You cannot enter the Capitol unless you are part of an organized tour.)


Both tours were great – I have always been intrigued by stories of Abigail Adams and she was mentioned several times during the tour of the White House.  She was a remarkable woman.  There have been many great leaders that have walked the same hallways and rooms we toured…it was awe-inspiring to the max.  At the Capitol we saw many more great pieces of art, statues and heard stories about historical events that occurred there.

LIFE Runners Visit the Capitol

Capitol Tour With the LIFE Runners (Alex and I on far left with Steve, Brianna and Paige. Pat on far right).

After Capitol Tour (Me, Alex Carmichael, Brianna Castle, Rosemary Bernth) 

Later that afternoon we headed off to The Law of Life Summit.  Click here to learn more about that event.

The next day, Alex and I squeezed in some time at the National Gallery of Art.



Then off to the March for Life Mini Rally at Lafayette Park, across from the White House.

We ran into  some Vitae Foundation friends…like Mike Huckabee.

Alex and I with Gov Mike Huckabee

After the Mini Rally we processed over to the front of the White House for a Mini Protest.

Then off to a very crowded Mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.  There were more than 700 deacons, priests, bishops, archbishops, cardinals including the Papal Nuncio.  The procession alone took 45 minutes.  We arrived at 5:00 and there were already people sitting on the floors because the pews were packed.  For all of us to be allowed to stay in our very small space ( normally that 4 people would stand in), we had to turn sideways (12 of us) with our layers of clothes on from being outside so long.  It was a beautiful Mass and well worth the wait.

Kathleen Gilbert @ shot this photo of the crowded Mass.

Procession of 700 Deacons, Priests, Bishops, Archbishops, Cardinals including the Papal Nuncio

On Monday, Alex and I metroed up to the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops office.

Alex in Reception Area of USCCB

Then metroed back to downtown area to meet up with our LIFE Runner team mates and fellow pro-lifers.

This was a common scene…pro-lifers and signs on Metros and everywhere.

Pro-lifers in the house!!

Photo courtesy of Kathryn Jean Lopez

I am a pro-life activist.  Have been since I was 11 years old and will be till my last breath.  I draw strength from being with other pro-lifers and being at the March for Life is like what a  friend of mine refers to as…the pro-life Woodstock.

Anne and Alex

Here’s a random video of the March for Life 2012.  To my surprise, it has Alex and I in it along with the LIFE Runner sign.  

LIFE Runners were at 5:57 minutes into the EWTN Video of the March.

It was pretty cool being at the March for Life 25 years after the last trip to DC for such.  I never would have dreamed I would be returning with my 16-year-old son.

I told Alex…”What if it is another 25 years before we return???  I’ll be 75 – I was 25 the last time I was here…”  His response – “We will be back again sooner than that.”  I think we will too.

On the flight home …I couldn’t believe it.  Over the intercom the pilot announced his name – John Testrake.  I looked at the flight attendant and said. “Is that the John Testrake whose Dad was the TWA pilot taken hostage in the 80’s??? She said that’s the one.  If not familiar with him read this article.  (Ronald Reagan was President when the hijacking occurred and he held several press conferences during that 17 day ordeal keeping the American public updated.  Our plane flew out of Reagan National).

John Testrake

I sent him a note and spoke after the flight.  I had some phone conversations with his Dad when he was running for office a few years after the ordeal.  He ran as a pro-life candidate.

Photo courtesy of

For all those that shared this 39th infamous anniversary of Roe v Wade together with me and the National LIFE Runners…you are LIFE Runners too.  We are running a long race that began in 1973.  As a line from our National LIFE Runners Creed states:

We run to build Endurance, for the race is long and we must keep our eyes fixed on You Lord.

Here’s to you!  Keep on running the good race…the finish line is near.

Heading to DC for March for Life and Law of Life Summit after a day with the LIFE Runners

Today and last night was a great time spent with the LIFE Runners.  Today we spent the day at the Capital (met @ 7:15 am for a morning run – then Midwest March and rally) and then across the street at a meeting with several other pro-life organizations. Last night at a banquet with them.  Great time!

Alex and I will be with them for the March and other activities in DC.  Jim is staying behind with Cypress to hold down the fort.  He is having friends come by over weekend.

The first March for Life I went to was in 1983 went 2 more times in the 80’s.  Now I’m taking my 16-year-old son – 25 years later.  I and others will be presenting at the National Press Club for the Law of Life Summit on Saturday. Monday is the Rally and March with hundreds of thousands from all over the country.


Great Event with Laura Ingraham and 72 Hours to Race Day

Well, the Vitae Foundation event with Laura Ingraham last  night was a huge success!  We had a great crowd and the energy level was electric.  I love gathering with our donors in Kansas City.  There is something special that goes on in that market between the donors, the pregnancy centers, the church leadership and other pro-life organizations.  It’s a great community and they have achieved wonderful things to make a difference in the lives of many.

I did get in a 3 mile run yesterday morning and also did some additional leg exercises.  I am so glad I did because I had so much more energy and am more alert the days I run.  These events are physically challenging.  I was up to it though thanks to my training.   I didn’t eat dinner – no time – busy visiting with donors and getting to people I needed to see before time to speak.  I actually was up out of my seat visiting when my cue came to come to the stage.  Always need to  be in 3 places at once.  I met two of my team mates from the LIFE Runners team that were there last night too.  Can’t wait to hook up with all 170 of them this Friday!  They come from 20 states and you can click on this link to go to their website.


One of the women that saw our ad and sought help due to such, was there last night with the baby she gave birth to following that experience.  She gave a very moving and emotional testimony while her daughter toddled around her.  She spoke of how she thought that abortion was her only option until she saw the sign and went to the Center for help.  She overcame so many obstacles to carry her baby to term – including being robbed of the little she had.  It brought down the house.  She was amazing!  When she finished she threw her arms in the air and said thank you to all of you for caring to put those ads up – most of the people in that room were those who paid for that effort.  It was wonderful.  Laura Ingraham didn’t let her back pain she was experiencing, get in the way of delivering a very powerful presentation.  She is a very strong, straight forward speaker with a great message.  Everyone loved her and again jumped to their feet when she finished – for a standing ovation.

After Alex and I returned to the hotel when we were finished with things and said good-by to the staff that were driving back (all worked really hard), we headed to the restaurant for a late night snack.  I hate eating that late but at this point was starved – so of course I didn’t make very good food choices (hamburger and fries).  The restaurant was closed and had to order from the bar which had a limited menu.  Well that’s how it goes…

My feet are a little sore this morning but  nothing major – no blisters or anything.  Now I’m looking ahead to this Saturdays race.  I need to get really focused after I finish up some things today with the event.

What a good feeling it is to walk away from such an amazing evening  – knowing that the hundreds of thousands of dollars raised will be used to save more lives while changing hearts and minds.


Runnin’ for Life

Yesterday I was in Kansas City with a mid afternoon appointment.  After that was finished, I drove past what is to be the start of the Waddell and Reed Half Marathon on October 15th.  It was exciting to think about how it will feel that day – running through those streets.  It caused me to remember to make my hotel reservations while I was driving.  There is a very large convention in town that weekend  – so for runners, be sure you get your reservations soon or you’ll be out on the curb.  Later in the day I went to the grand opening of The Women’s Clinic in Grandview, Mo…the place that God built.  Literally, the first Women’s Clinic in Independence, Mo. was prayed into existence by a group of sisters that lived down the street and were hopeful of such, when the store front right next to Planned Parenthood opened up for rent.  Thus, in just a few weeks, The Women’s Clinic opened.  Pictured here is Tom and Deborah Neel with the nun that was part of the convent that prayed for them to open.  Deborah is the Center’s Executive Director and Tom is the Development Director for them.    Even though there are more than 2,500 pregnancy centers across the US.  Their center was mentioned in Time Magazine because it shares a wall with Planned Parenthood. Now they have 2 Centers that have such. To Know Tom and Deborah – is to know God’s love in action.  Any time I am at the Center or visit with them, I leave feeling renewed.

The new Center in Grandview, Mo. was brought about by an army of contractors that volunteered their time and donated materials.  What was to cost $180,000 in the end was only $25,000.  That was after a very moving program at their annual banquet where more than 500 of their supporters gave their largest gifts to make this Center a reality.  I go to about 30 to 40 such events a year, but that was one that I will never forget.  There is something God-like going on there.  Good luck and best wishes to Deborah, Tom and all of the staff/volunteers of the Women’s Clinics and their lifesaving work.

Wishing everyone a great day!