The 17th annual LaFayette Day for Valley Haven took place on Saturday and organizers are calling this year’s event “the most successful LaFayette Day yet.” Record crowds and beautiful weather highlighted a day in which over $12,000 was raised toward this year’s goal for Hike/Bike/Run for Valley Haven School.
This year’s event saw maybe the biggest turnout ever, with an estimated 1,000 people taking part. Event organizers continue to be amazed and appreciative of the incredible participation by the LaFayette community.
“I really believe it was the best one ever,” LaFayette Day Co-chair Lyn Oliver said. “Everything was just amazing. We had so much of an outpouring of support. Everything was just so much bigger from the crowds to the vendors. It truly was amazing.”
“It was a great day with an amazing turnout,” Co-chair Craig Brown said. “I can’t thank the people of LaFayette, the volunteers and vendors enough for making the 17th annual LaFayette Day for Valley Haven one of the best ever. And we are already looking forward to next year for the 18th edition of LaFayette Day.”
For 17 years LaFayette Day has been able to make a sizeable contribution to the Hike/Bike/Run fundraising campaign, which is Valley Haven’s single biggest source of local support. Many employees and clients of Valley Haven were on hand for Saturday’s festivities and they, along with the other patrons, had plenty to keep them entertained. The day featured dozens of food and craft vendors, musical entertainment and kids games and rides.
The Annual Hike/Bike/Run Motorcycle Ride was part of Saturday’s festivities. It started at the Georgia/Alabama state line and ended at LaFayette Day. Approximately 40 riders took part in this fun event.
The LaFayette Day Antique Car Show also had record participation, with nearly 70 vehicles taking part in the event.
At noon, the LaFayette Day Committee made several special presentations. The 2013-14 Chambers Academy boys basketball team was honored for their state championship season. LaFayette native and former Major League Baseball player and scout Jimmy Stewart was recognized posthumously. A plaque was presented to his family in honor of his legendary career. A special display was also set up in the courthouse rotunda to honor the 100th birthday of legendary boxer and LaFayette native Joe Louis. Louis’ birthday is May 13 and a celebratory cake and video highlights from his career were displayed.
The final recognition from the committee was for one of their own. Longtime volunteer Pamela Bateman was honored for her service to LaFayette Day and Hike/Bike/Run. This was the last year Bateman will be able to participate, as she is moving away to be closer to her family. She was given a plaque and flowers from Brown and Oliver.
The LaFayette Day Committee and Valley Haven School extended their thanks everyone who had a hand in making this year’s events a success. They gave a special thanks to the many merchants and sponsors for their generous contributions and donations. Also, a special thanks goes to LaFayette Mayor Barry Moody and the City Council, the LaFayette Police Department and the Chambers County Sheriff’s Department.
Brown and Oliver extended the thanks of Valley Haven to all the local businesses, the volunteers and the participants for their support, help and cooperation. They stressed that this generous participation is what makes Valley Haven’s LaFayette Day for Hike/Bike/Run a success each year.
*For full story see this week’s edition of The Sun.