Valley Haven kicks off fundraiser

Published 6:30 pm Wednesday, March 6, 2019

VALLEY — The Hike/Bike/Run fundraiser for Valley Haven School has been an annual event in the Valley since 1977. The 43rd one will be taking place during Valley Haven’s 60th anniversary year. The school was founded in 1959.

At this year’s kickoff event, held Tuesday evening in the Valley Haven cafeteria, Don Cleveland was announced as the overall chairman.

“He’s been active in the Hike/Bike/Run for 37 years now,” said Valley Haven Executive Director Craig Brown. “He was an area chairman for 25 years before moving on to the overall chairman. Don does a great job for us, and we appreciate his support for Valley Haven.”

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Cleveland is an attorney whose office is in downtown West Point. He has practiced law in Troup, Harris and Chambers counties for more than 40 years.

The Hike/Bike/Run takes place each year on the first Saturday in May. That will be May 4 this year.

“It’s our main fundraising activity for the year,” Brown said. “Lots of people take part in one way or another. Several hundred participants will be taking part in their area of interest. Some children will be riding tricycles, others will be walking, running, riding a bike or bowling for pledges.”

This year’s goal is $100,000. The amount generated will be used as the matching share for the state and federal grants that fund the school’s operations each year.

Assisting Cleveland will be area chairpersons Janice Avery, J.T. Barker, Lessie Beck, Tommy Benton, Richard Bolt, Sam Bradford, Craig Brown, Ella Burton, Chris Busby, Christy Carpenter, Heather Coker, Mike Cox, Cindy Daniel, Mary Ann Daves, Lynn Duncan, Tony Edmondson, Shelby Flakes, Paula Frazier, Sherry Grady, Minnie Green, Diane Green, Hannah Hall, Mary Hamilton, Diane Harris, Essie Mae Harris, Rachel Harris, Lawrence Henry, Dr. Kelli Hodge, Wanda Huguley, Genie Ingram, Trudye Johnson, Brenda Jones, Debbie Kelley, Eddie Lanier, Hattie Lett, Mary Lett, Sheriff Sid Lockhart, Liz Magby, Chris Miller, China Morgan, Lynn Oliver, Karen Poer, Anne Ponder, Tony Powers, Tim Reed, June Rogers, Rod Ross, Peggy Smith, Jennifer Tidwell, Freddie Trammell, Lisa Turner, Sandra Turner, Lisa Walton, Valerie Washington, Macy Whorton, Jo Ellen Weldon, Tommy Weldon, Irmgard Westfall and Tricia Williams.

“The concept of Hike/Bike/Run is simple,” Brown said. “The participants will bike, hike, ride or run over a designated route for pledges. Prizes are awarded in several categories. All participants who have $50 or more in pledges will receive a coveted Hike/Bike/Run t-shirt.”

While Saturday, May 4 will be the big day, a host of other events will be taking place as part of the 2019 Hike/Bike/Run campaign. These events include Casual Day Thursdays in April, LaFayette Day, Car Show and Motorcycle Ride on Saturday, May 13, the Sheriff’s Call-In Day on WCJM 100.9, the Hike/Bike/Run Auction on Friday, April 16, the Peach Walk on Friday, May 3 and the Valley Bowl Tournament and Bingo on Tuesday, May 7.

Cleveland sees the Hike/Bike/Run as a great way to help others.

“It offers local residents an opportunity to support Valley Haven, our area school for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” he said. “We are grateful for the continued support for and the growth of the Hike/Bike/Run. For the last 30 years, this fundraiser has generated more than $100,000 each year. We plan to do it again this year. I am proud to help Valley Haven provide this valuable service to our community. I call on everyone in the Valley and Chambers County to join me and participate in the Hike/Bike/Run. Anyone of any age can participate.”

New Hike/Bike/Run forms have been mailed out to last year’s participants. Anyone who has yet to receive theirs may contact the school, and it will be sent to you. For more information, call (334) 756-2868 or (334) 756-7801 during the school day.