Haven House Hustle fundraiser May 13

By Jason A. Smith
Times Correspondent

Marjorie Lacy said she appreciates the collective willingness of the community to lace up their running shoes every spring to help women and families in need through the Haven House Hustle 5K.

Attendees pause for a photo at last year’s Haven House Hustle in Locust Grove. File photo

“We have a huge amount of support,” said Lacy, executive director of the Haven House domestic-violence shelter. “We have a lot of sponsors, and a lot of folks run this every year.”

Lacy is hopeful that the trend of generosity continues when the annual race returns to Henry County May 13. The Hustle will begin at 9 a.m., at the Locust Grove Recreation Center, 10 Cleveland St. Registration is $20 in advance, or $25 on the day of the event.

Lacy expects about 250 runners for the Hustle, which is one of two fundraisers organized each year to benefit Haven House, a nonprofit shelter in McDonough. The shelter serves victims of family violence in Henry, Jasper, Butts and Lamar Counties.

Lacy said the 48-bed facility is consistently in demand locally.

“We can house nine families and 12 single women,” Lacy explained. “We always stay full, on the family side especially. As soon as a room becomes available, it fills up.”

Last year’s Haven House Hustle generated about $19,000, said Lacy. She added that those funds go toward helping to pay for clients’ expenses, including doctor visits, medicine, clothing, and bus tickets to help them get out of town if needed.

Funds from the race also go toward hiring two college students in the summer to work full-time with children at the shelter.

“That really helps when the kids are out of school,” said Lacy. “This race will make that happen, make that possible.”

Haven House also operates the Blessings Thrift Store, which offers used household goods, fashion accessories and clothing for women and children at the shelter. Lacy expressed gratitude for numerous local businesses and individuals in the area who support the Hustle through donations or participating in the race.

“Just like some of the other nonprofits that have the same race every year, they look forward to it,” she said. “There are a lot of expenses that aren’t covered by grants. We have great support from our community, and that’s true year round, honestly.”

Along with registration fees, this year’s Haven House Hustle has added a new element to raise money to support the shelter. One of the event’s sponsors, Two Men and a Truck, will be on hand to collect items for women and families at the shelter through its Movers for Mom promotion, said Lacy.

“They’re going to have a truck at the race for people who want to make a donation,” she said.

Participants in the Haven House Hustle will receive commemorative T-shirts and goodie bags to mark the occasion. The shelter will host its second fundraiser for the year, a Casino Night Oct. 21 from 7-11 p.m., at the Locust Grove Event Center.

For more information, call 770-954-1008. To reach Haven House’s 24-Hr Crisis Line, call 770-954-9229.