Hike Bike Run fundraiser returning to LaFayette

Published 8:30 am Tuesday, March 5, 2024

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VALLEY — Planning for the 48th annual Hike/Bike/Run fundraiser for Valley Haven will soon be getting underway. The kickoff meeting for the 2024 Hike/Bike/Run will be taking place at the school at 6 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, March 12. For many years now, the annual Hike/Bike/Run has taken place on the first Saturday in May. It’s the same day as the famed Kentucky Derby horse race. While all the hiking, biking and running events are all wrapped up near the school by the afternoon, the Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs is always in the late afternoon.

Hike/Bike/Run Day is usually preceded by a LaFayette Day and an auction. LaFayette Day takes place on a Saturday on Courthouse Square in downtown LaFayette. The auction takes place at the school on the final Friday evening in April.

The fundraising goal is $100,000. Until Covid hit in 2020, that goal was exceeded for more than 30 years in a row. Fundraising lagged that first Covid year but has been coming back the past three years.

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The Hike/Bike/Run is the largest fundraiser of the year for Valley Haven. What’s raised locally can be matched with state and federal grants on a 4-to-1 basis.

In 2020, most fundraising events were canceled due to the pandemic. Even so, more than $36,000 was raised.

Things were more normal in 2021, but the Hike/Bike/Run suffered a setback with the cancellation of LaFayette Day due to stormy weather. Despite that, more than $103,000 came in that year.

The 2022 LaFayette Day generated approximately $11,000 and the auction brought in close to $14,000.

For a number of years, the auction had taken place inside the Community Center. In 2022, it switched to the school.

The auction items are gathered at the school prior to the auction day. Having the auction there avoids having to transport them all to a different location.

One change that took place last year involved the annual Jane Carmack Memorial Walk. In previous years, this walk started in West Point and proceeded an estimated seven miles to Valley Haven School. The 2023 walk took place near the school and looped around Lakeview Cabin in a route that was similar in length to walking down from West Point.

The walkers received police escorts along the way.

The Jane Carmack walk honors the memory of a very dedicated supporter of Valley Haven School and the Hike/Bike/Run.

The walking and running events for the Saturday, May 4th Hike/Bike/Run will have a start/finish line located near the junction of Ram Stadium Drive and Fairfax Bypass, a short distance away from Valley Haven School. The 2023 events included a one-mile run, a 4k run, one-mile and five-mile walks. There was also a 10-mile bike ride and a kids’ ride in front of the school. Any youngster on a small bicycle, scooter or battery-powered ride was welcome to take part.

The final event of the day was a 5k run.