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LaFayette Day draws hundreds to historic square

LaFAYETTE — Overcast weather on Saturday morning gave way to bright sunny skies by noon as a result, LaFayette Day saw one of its biggest turnouts to date.

“Things went really well,” said Valley Haven Executive Director Craig Brown. “We had a total of 88 vehicles in our Antique/Classic Car Show. That’t the most we’ve ever had. We had problems finding places to park all the cars. We had to turn away 10 or 15 vendors due to lack of space. The ones who were there did really well. They wanted to stay on when we started closing at 3 p.m. (CDT). They were pleased with their sales.”

Calvin Milford’s 1919 Model-T Ford was the oldest vehicle in the show. Barbara Glow of Juliette, Georgia, traveled the greatest distance to exhibit a vehicle. She traveled more than 100 miles to show her Custom Mustang GT. Reggie Smith received the Celebrity Award for his 1969 Chevrolet Chenille.

At 10:30 a.m. EDT Saturday morning, a group of about 30 people pulled out of the parking area between Greene’s Super Drugs and Langley Motor Company in Lanett on the annual Hike/Bike/Run Motorcycle Ride. They arrived in LaFayette during the noon hour to take in the 25th annual LaFayette Day.

Children had fun bouncing around on four large inflatables that were set up on the north side of the Courthouse. They also had fun taking rides on a miniature train.

There was live entertainment on a stage throughout the day. During the noon hour, the Valley Haven Chorus performed a medley of classic love songs, topped off by their rendition of the Elvis Presley classic “Love Me Tender.”

“That was a special moment in what was a very special day for Valley Haven School,” Brown said. “We raised over $11,000 for the school. We followed that up Sunday morning with a very successful Sheriff’s Call-In Day on WCJM. It was the 36th straight year the local radio station hosted it, and we raised $7,500 for Valley Haven. We appreciate Sheriff Sid Lockhart for being there and for his long-time support of the school. Charles and Paul Story along with Ronnie “Spanky” Sanders were great.”

One event Valley Haven clients look forward to is the annual Fun Walk. It will be taking place at the school at 10 a.m. EDT Friday, April 19. They will be wearing their new infinity-design Hike/Bike/Run t-shirts and will be walking for pledges. The annual Hike/Bike/Run Auction will be taking place at 5:30 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 26th. The Valley Community Center doors will open at 5 p.m. so that everyone can see the items that will be going up for bids. “We have a lot of really nice items that have been donated, and more will be coming in before the auction,” Brown said.

Saturday, May 4 will be the big day. Lots of people will be hiking, biking and running for pledges that day. An estimated two-thirds of the money raised in the Hike/Bike/Run is generated that day. Whatever is raised will be used toward the local match for state and federal funds that allow Valley Haven School to continue the high-level services it provides as the local area’s school for babies and adults with intellectual disabilities or development delays.

The final event for this year’s Hike/Bike/Run will be an evening of bingo and bowling at Valley Bowl. It will be getting under way at 6:30 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, May 7.

This could be the 30th straight year the Hike/Bike/Run fundraiser tops the $100,000 mark.

“We feel good about reaching our goal,” Brown said. “We just need to keep up the momentum and follow through the same way we’ve done in the past.”