After Race, Hike/Bike/Run closes in on fundraising goal

Published 10:02 am Tuesday, May 7, 2024

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VALLEY — A rainy morning on Saturday held down participation in this year’s Hike/Bike/Run. 

Even so, most of the events went on, and the runners and walkers didn’t seem to mind the light, cool rain that was falling. The annual fundraiser is close to its $100,000 goal.

“We are pleased with the way everything went this year,” said Valley Haven Executive Director Craig Brown. “I feel like we will make our goal once all the money is in and counted. We still have a couple of events to do at local schools.”

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There’s a large amount of change to be counted from some big jugs that were placed in local elementary schools. The pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters placed in the big jugs over the past few weeks by school children can add up. Sam Bradford handles this every year for the Hike/Bike/Run.

The Hike/Bike/Run got a big break this year in the form of a gorgeous day on Saturday, April 13th. It was LaFayette Day and time for a good weather day after past years have had rainy  weather. Covid was a problem in previous years.  

A big crowd was on hand for a fun day of live entertainment, good food, a car show and games for the kids. Close to $10,000 was raised that day for the Hike/Bike/Run. The annual auction on Friday evening, April 26th was another big day, generating more than $8,000 for the fundraiser.

Also helping toward the $100,000 goal was a Skate Night at the Skatin’ Rink on Fob James Drive and Spirit Night at Little Caesar’s Pizza in Valley. 

On Friday afternoon, the annual Peach Walk took place at the Georgia Visitor Center on I-85. Volunteers walked for pledges to Valley Haven on the James Hardy Trail, which runs a half-mile on the visitor center grounds.

Saturday’s light rain was something of a benefit for the walkers and runners. It really cooled things down a bit. It was a break after local temperatures had topped out in the mid eighties earlier in the week.

This year’s running events were held in memory of Tony Edmondson, the long-time executive director of Valley Haven, who passed away earlier this year. There was a banner with his photo on it near the start of the races. 

A run meter was set up at the entrance of Ram Stadium Drive. It kept the times for those running in a one-mile race or in the 4K or 5K races.

A couple of food trucks were set up in front of the school to feed the walkers and runners at the end of their events. 

Vincent and Denise Dauro of Beulah had Cajun and Creole style food from Dauro’s Kitchen ready to serve. Grab N Go Hot Dogs and Hamburgers of Cusseta was there as well, grilling in front of the school.

“We want to thank everyone for their continuing support of Valley Haven School,” said Brown. “The Hike/Bike/Run is important to us because the amount we raise is the local match we have to get the state and federal grants we need to keep the school going.”

If $100,000 is raised, for example, grant money will exceed $300,000.