NRL News

“Once you have a level playing field, You Have to Show Up”

by | Apr 18, 2023

Sekulow addresses nearly 300 people at 25th Annual Rose Dinner

By West Virginians for Life

Morgantown, WV– On April 13th, nearly 300 people attended the 25th Annual Rose Dinner, hosted by West Virginians for Life (WVFL).  The evening began with a Reception, where registrants enjoyed a beautiful appetizer display, participated in a Silent Auction, and had the opportunity to meet and reconnect with pro-life friends and supporters from across the state.

The buffet dinner was combined with an update on WVFL’s educational efforts.  WVFL Legislative Director Sadie Shields provided a summary of pertinent legislation.  Her husband, Riley Keaton, introduced legislators, public officials, and candidates in attendance (19 in all), including Secretary of State Mac Warner and State Auditor J.B McCuskey. 

WVFL President Wanda Franz was pleased to announce the successful launch of a new website – – which refutes the lie that abortion is a type of healthcare.  Pictures were shared from last year’s enjoyable “Leadership for Life Weekend Retreat” for teens, along with the announcement of the dates for that event this year.

The keynote speaker was Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). He perfectly balanced a commendation for recent victories with an exhortation for continued work. 

Sekulow began by showing that it was perseverance at the grassroots level which built the foundation that enabled Dobbs to overturn Roe and Casey.  He defined Dobbs as a critical victory which “levels the playing field,” by returning abortion law to the states. 

But, Sekulow said, that is just the beginning, because once “you have a level playing field, you have to show up.”

On the state level, the battle is now more intense than ever.  The pro-life community must continually show up there in order to save lives, and retain victories.  Sekulow closed with the poignant Biblical illustration of the widow who refused to stop knocking on the judge’s door.

Kyle Wiggs served as an excellent Master of Ceremonies for the evening.  And even though Sekulow had to present remotely due to a last-minute health issue, the audience remained well-engaged.

They also appreciated the in-person appearance of Jordan Sekulow, Jay’s son, who is the Executive Director of the ACLJ.  Dan Cunningham and Emilie Lewis provided beautiful music, and Pastor Doug Joseph used an unexpected interruption by Skype music during the offering to bring about a chuckle. 

In the end, pro-life supporters from all walks of life – grassroots workers, Pregnancy Resource Center employees, volunteers, financial patrons, Public Officials, and many others – all generously donated their time, talent, and treasure to make it the most successful Rose Dinner on record.

For a complete complement of photos from the night, visit here.

Categories: Pro-Lifers