Franciscan alumni start pro-life coffee company

BY JOANNE KERSTEN
Staff Writer

Babies are cute enough alone. But combine an effort to promote life with delicious coffee and there’s a combo worth calling home about. That’s the whole idea behind the Lifeboat Coffee Co., a coffee company founded by Franciscan University of Steubenville alumni that is dedicated to providing sustainable financial help to pro-life groups from across the country.

Both the founder and co-founder have strong ties to the pro-life movement. John Lillis, the founder and president, was born, abandoned and left for adoption about five months after the Therapeutic Abortion Act was passed in his home state of California. While Lillis was a student at Franciscan University, he helped raise funds for the original Crossroads pro-life walk, in which volunteers walk across America in support of life.

Ched Salasek, the co-founder and special projects coordinator, has been very involved in the pro-life movement throughout his life. His third child, Annie, was diagnosed with Spina Bifida during a routine ultrasound. Instead of choosing abortion, Ched and his wife chose life and opted for in-utero surgery, and now Annie is a happy young girl who courageously takes on the challenges of life.

The inspiration for Lifeboat Coffee came about when John was remodeling a pro-life center around America’s first pro-life radio station. He started the radio station in early 2012 to unite pro-lifers by interceding for the women and staff at the Planned Parenthood facility right across the street.

According to Lifeboat Coffee’s website, John thought to himself, “Almost everyone loves coffee, why not marry my love for life with my near obsession for great coffee and see if we can’t create something to help sustain this place!”

The result was a coffee company dedicated to giving pro-life groups sustainable income.

Lifeboat Coffee makes it easy for anyone to help support life and enjoy great coffee. You can “grab an oar” and join their family by purchasing coffee from their website. There is even an option to have one dollar of each bag purchased go to the pro-life organization of your choice, or sign up your pro-life group for funding through Lifeboat Coffee Co. Many companies have already signed on as affiliates, such as Mary’s Choice, Nebraskans United for Life, and Father Rosado as well as various parish pro-life groups.

Whatever coffee you prefer, you are bound to find it on their website. They offer a variety of quality roasts, including decaffeinated, medium and dark in both ground and whole-bean. Not a coffee drinker, but still want to support life? Lifeboat also offers various types of herbal, black and green teas, as well as mugs and other gifts.

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