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LaFayette Day nears

LaFAYETTE — Anyone who loves good cooking won’t want to miss LaFayette Day on Saturday, as there will be plenty of it there.

Carl Harper will be back with his Mama Mary’s wraps, and Sheriff Sid Lockhart will have his cooking trailer there helping serve the crowd. Others cooking include Reginald Staples, who will be serving fried fish, sausage and other treats; Jessie Harper, who is well known for his catfish; Phyllis Lockhart, who will be serving barbecue and chicken sandwiches; Chad Moultrie, who’s an expert at cooking barbecue and Maurice Smith of Phenix City, who will have his Tina’s Cantina food truck on site.

On Monday evening, Valley Haven Executive Director Craig Brown talked Monday about the good food and all the activities that will be going on at Saturday’s LaFayette Day on Courthouse Square. It will be the 25th year for LaFayette Day and something of a renewal since last year’s event was canceled because of Covid-19. Brown was the guest speaker at the Lions Club of Valley meeting.

“We have a lot of local talent lined up for our live entertainment,” Brown said. “We will start that on stage at around 10 o’clock and continue until 2:30 or 3 p.m. We are sure people will enjoy it. One of our highlights will be the car show, and the motorcycles will arrive around 11:30 (EDT). They will be leaving from Greene’s Super Drugs an hour before that.”

This will be the 27th annual Hike/Bike/Run Motorcycle Ride. The biking enthusiasts will receive police escorts all along the way. They will be heading south along Highway 29 through Lanett and Valley and will turn onto Andrews Road in Lee County. Once there, they will take Highway 431 near the Opelika campus of Southern Union State Community College and will head north to LaFayette. Each rider will receive a barbecue sandwich sack lunch. Anyone who receives $50 in pledges will get one of the new Hike/Bike/Run t-shirts.

Valley Haven School has had a difficult year because of the Covid pandemic. Going into last year, the Hike/Bike/Run fundraiser had generated over $100,000 for more than 30 years in a row. With most of the events canceled, fundraising came in at around $35,000. The school receives funding based on the number of clients served and the hours they are served. Because the school was closed for a lengthy period and the number of students fell from 74 before the pandemic to 28 afterward, that source of funding was way down.

The school brought in approximately $330,000 in 2019. That number dropped to $52,000 last year.

“We are hoping to get some of our students back when everyone is vaccinated,” Brown said. “Some of our former students are planning on coming back.”

This year’s Hike/Bike/Run will mark 45 years of the fundraiser.

“It will be modified this year,” Brown said. “Our main goal is to be safe. The Hike/Bike/Run will be on Saturday, May 1. We will be limiting the number of people who go inside the school that day. We will have three races near the school on May 1. We are inviting people to come and run or walk a mile, 4k or 5k. The annual Jane Carmack Walk will leave West Point at 7 a.m. heading toward the school.”

“People are always asking us what they can do to help,” Brown added. “You can do that by getting a pledge sheet. What we really need are prayers. We have made it this far because of that, and we need people to keep us in their thoughts. We are just trying to hang on right now.”