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October events note domestic violence, disability awareness

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

Local organizations are participating in national observances during the month of October, by organizing events for their communities.

To commemorate Disability Awareness Month, Haven House in McDonough will hold a day-long training session Friday for attorneys and members of law enforcement, at McDonough Presbyterian Church.

According to Marjorie Lacy, Haven House's executive director, the session will cover topics that are of particular importance in Henry, where the number of domestic violence cases has grown significantly in recent years.

"There were 803 new domestic violence victims in 2002," she said. "By the end of February [2007], we'd already surpassed that number."

Lacy said she would like to hold more events throughout the year to educate people about domestic violence, but that the staff at the shelter is "stretched thin" in its efforts to meet the needs of victims.

The Georgian Gallery, at 1928 Hudson Bridge Rd., in Stockbridge, will mark National Disability Awareness Month by holding an art show Oct. 20, from 6-9 p.m. The "Evening in the Neighborhood" show will be presented in connection with Worktec, a rehabilitation facility for disabled people that is part of the Clayton County School System.

Gallery owner, Keith Sweat, said he was happy to be a part of the show. "Worktec came to me [about doing the show], and the more we talked about it, the more excited I got," he said. "Then I saw [the students'] art, and I was blown away."

Eight artists, all of whom are students at Worktec, will have their work featured in the show. According to Sweat, between 20 and 30 pieces of art will be displayed.

"It's going to be a wonderful way of showing these individuals how valuable they are and how much self-worth they have," he said.

Debbie Walker, specialist manager for Worktec, said several of the artists to be featured in the show have already received accolades for their work.

"Five of the people in the show placed 'honorable mention' or above at the Georgia Artists with Disabilities [in September]," she said. "One of them won Best in Show."