Valley Haven needs big push to reach $100,000 goal

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, May 10, 2023

VALLEY — Saturday morning’s weather was better than expected, but participation was down from what it is in most years for the Hike/Bike/Run. Even so, fundraising topped the $70,000 mark and with the rescheduled LaFayette Day planned for Saturday, May 20 there’s still a chance fundraising could approach the $100,000 goal.

“We appreciate any kind of funding we get from the local community,” said Valley Haven Executive Director Craig Brown. “With a strong finish with LaFayette Day, we could get a lot closer to our goal.”

LaFayette Day was originally set for Saturday, April 8 but was postponed due to stormy weather in the forecast. It was rescheduled for May 20. It will be taking place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EDT. The very popular car show will be taking place from 10 until noon. There will be live entertainment all day on the Charles Story Stage, which will be set up just outside the Chambers County Courthouse. There will be at least 10 food vendors and lots of arts and crafts items for sale.

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An annual motorcycle ride for Valley Haven School always takes place on LaFayette Day. It starts out at 10:30 a.m. at the Alabama-Georgia line on Highway 29 next to Greene’s Super Drugs. The route usually heads south along Highway 29 through Lanett and Valley and into Lee County, where it takes a right at Andrews Road and heads toward Opelika, where it takes another right onto US 431 near the campus of Southern Union State Community College. The ride goes north back into Chambers County and ends in downtown LaFayette just as things are going strong at LaFayette Day.

“Please feel free to contact the school at (334) 756-2868 or (334) 756-7801 if you have any questions or concerns,” Brown said. “You may also email me at or Jo Ellen Weldon at”

The 29th annual Peach Walk for Valley Haven School took place on Friday afternoon, May 5 at the Georgia Visitor Center on I-85 in West Point.

It was organized in memory of Essie Mae Harris, who passed away this past July. She was the innovator of the Peach Walk and organized 28 of them. Those taking part walk for pledges on the Visitor Center’s James A. Hardy Walking Trail. Mary Lett was this year’s acting chairperson. Others taking part in the walk included Ms. Harris’ niece, Gloria Davis, Johnny Nelloms, Brenda Jones, Rosa Dunn, Maudie Taylor, Janice Cumberlander and former Valley Haven Executive Director Tony Edmondson.

Valley Haven primarily serves individuals who reside in the Chambers and Lee County areas. Others outside this area are served if space and transportation are available. More than 100 individuals between three and 82 years of age are being served.

In Valley Haven’s early intervention program, professionals and parents work together to develop an individualized Family Service Plan for each child being served. These are children up to 36 months of age who have exhibited a 25 percent delay in one or more of five developmental areas or who have specific diagnoses such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, spina bifida, etc.

After an admission is made into the adult program, a meeting is conducted by a team of qualified professionals, the individual and the support network to review diagnostic information and evaluations to determine which activities are most beneficial and important to each individual. After the initial review, another meeting is held to discuss long and short-term objectives and goals to meet the specific wants and needs of the individual being served.