Overcast weather doesn’t stop LaFayette Day fundraising success

Published 10:00 am Tuesday, May 23, 2023

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LaFAYETTE — Overcast weather with rain in the forecast for Saturday held down the early turnout for rescheduled LaFayette Day, but things picked up around the noon hour and early afternoon. The rain held off for late in the day.

All in all it was a pretty good day for the final event of this year’s Hike/Bike/Run fundraiser for Valley Haven School. The car show wasn’t what it normally is, largely due to competing shows in Opelika, Alexander City, Phenix City and Lineville.

“Considering the weather and everything else that was going on that day, I thought it went about as well as we could hope for,” said Valley Haven Executive Director Craig Brown. “April is a better month for us to have LaFayette Day. We will be hoping  for better weather next year.”

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LaFayette Day was originally set for the second Saturday in April, or April 8th. Heavy rain was in the forecast that day, and the event was rescheduled for May 20th.

The final fundraising total for the 2023 Hike/Bike/Run will likely pass the $80,000 mark.

“We don’t know what it is right now,” Brown said. “We still have some counting to do.”

It may take some time to count what was donated in the Pennies Make Sense campaign in local elementary schools. That will be adding several thousand dollars to the total. Fairfax Elementary School, for example, has over $2,000 in cash in its big Pennies Make Sense jug. In addition to the bills that have been donated, each one of the big jugs have lots of pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, half dollars and one dollar coins to count.

“Whatever we raise in the Hike/Bike/Run will definitely help us,” Brown said. “It ensures we will get federal funding on our contract.”

What’s raised in the Hike/Bike/Run is the local match for that funding.

This was the 47th year for a Hike/Bike/Run. The LaFayette Day portion of the annual fundraiser began in 1997. Lynn Oliver chairs the committee that handles it.

“We are so pleased and grateful for the community support we have received over the years,” Brown said. “We are confident it will continue into the future.”

Valley Haven School primarily serves individuals who live in Chambers or Lee County. Those who live in other counties are served if space and transportation are available. Those being served range in age from infants to adults in their eighties.

Infants with developmental delays are served in Valley Haven’s early intervention program. Professionals and parents work together to develop an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) for each child. Infants up to 36 months of age who exhibit a delay of 25 percent or more in five developmental areas or who have cerebral palsy, spina bifida, Down syndrome or a similar diagnosis are eligible to be served.

After admission into the adult program, a meeting is conducted by a team of qualified professionals to determine which activities will be most beneficial for them. After that initial review, a follow up meeting will take place to discuss the long an short-term objectives and goals to meet the specific wants and needs of the individual served.