Time to ‘Hustle’: Haven House’s annual fundraiser fast approaching

By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

Hundreds of people are expected to lace up their running shoes to support victims of domestic violence in Henry County.

A police officer stops for a photo with runners at last year’s Haven House Hustle. Special photo

The fourth annual Haven House Hustle 5K run is scheduled for May 9 at 9 a.m., in downtown Locust Grove. Race-day registration will be from 7:30-8:45 a.m.

The cost to register is $20 in advance, or $25 after May 8. A group discount of $15 per person is available for pre-registered groups of 10 or more people.

Marjorie Lacy serves as the executive director of the shelter, which first opened in 1999 and has been at its current location for four years. Lacy says the funds raised through the event are essential in helping victims of domestic violence locally.

“It’s huge,” says Lacy. “We depend on these dollars we raise to be able to operate the way we do. We get some grants from the government and things like that, but this is undedicated money. We can use it as we need to, so that’s important.”

The Haven House Hustle is one of two fundraisers organized by the shelter each year

The Hail to the Ale beer festival is held in October, and last year’s Haven House Hustle generated roughly $13,000 for the shelter. Lacy says she anticipates about 350 runners for this year’s Hustle, with a fundraising goal of $15,000.

Haven House typically serves approximately 600 women and children each year. Lacy says the need for services provided by the facility has grown recently.

“We’ve certainly seen an increase over the years,” she says. “Our population in Henry County has grown so much that, of course, our numbers grow with it.”

Haven House board member Stephanie Carnell has coordinated the race for the last four years. She says involvement in the event has grown each year since its inception, and that the community’s support is an integral component in its continued success.

“Any type of fundraiser is important because we’re a nonprofit,” says Carnell. “We want people to support it because it’s a shelter for battered and abused victims in Henry County and other surrounding communities.”

The run, in past years, began at Locust Grove City Hall. However, Carnell says ongoing construction in the area resulted in this year’s event being moved to the city’s Recreation Center. The route will turn left onto the sidewalk along Ga. Highway 42 and along Bill Gardner Parkway to Frances Ward Drive. Runners will then turn right onto Patriots Pointe Street, right again at Palmetto Street, then left on Tanger Boulevard, left onto Shoal Creek Road, and left onto Ridge Street. The route will then turn right onto Indian Creek Road and left onto Cleveland Avenue toward the finish line.

Early information about the race indicated that Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta would be sponsoring a Tot Trot for kids as part of the event. However, Carnell says this year’s Tot Trot has been canceled.

T-shirts will be available for participants in the race, and prizes will be awarded according to age group.

Registration payments can be mailed to: Haven House, P.O. Box 1150, McDonough, GA 30253. For more information, call Stephanie Carnell at 404-695-8098 or Leslie Jeffares at 770-317-2725. To register online, visit www.havenhousehustle.com.