By Joel Hall
The Rainbow House in Jonesboro will host its most ambitious program to date this weekend. On Saturday morning, the children's shelter will host a combined 5k race and a 25-mile charity motorcycle ride, all to benefit local victims of child abuse.
Monique Henderson, marketing director for Rainbow House, said the event will serve as a "major fund-raiser" for the shelter and will "help us continue to be able to feed, clothe, and house the kids that come into our care."
"This is the tenth anniversary for the run, and the second anniversary for the motorcycle ride," said Henderson. "This is the first year, [however,] where the events have been done together. It allows us to attract a wider range of participants."
Registration for the 5k foot race will start at 6:45 a.m., at Roadhouse Grill, located at 1869 Mount Zion Road in Morrow. At 7:30 a.m., there will be a warm-up and at 8 a.m., walkers and runners will leave Roadhouse Grill by way of Mt. Zion Circle to loop the City of Morrow.
The course will run in a circle from Mt. Zion Boulevard to Battle Creek Road, to Southlake Parkway, and back to Mt. Zion Road.
At 9 a.m., a 1-mile run/walk will leave from Roadhouse Grill, and a 50-yard "Tot Trot" will take place at 9:20 a.m. Rainbow House will host a ceremony at 9:40 a.m., in which runners will be given more than 60 awards, based on their performance.
A post-race celebration will start at 10 a.m. All registered racers will receive a T-shirt, lunch courtesy of Truett's Grill in Morrow, and ice cream, courtesy of Blue Bell.
For the first year, walkers and runners will be able to participate in teams, an incentive aimed at attracting local business rivals, and allowing them to compete for a good cause. Andrea Fann, administrator for Orthopaedic South Surgical Center in Morrow, said that, of all the nonprofit organizations in Clayton County, her office has "found that Rainbow House has the biggest need for local business support."
"Basic needs that we take for granted, these kids need," said Fann. "With this economy, I am sure they are not getting as much from the state, so we need to do more. The community is pulling together and that is something I believe in," said Fann.
Registration for the motorcycle ride will also start at 10 a.m., at the Roadhouse Grill. At 10:30 a.m., Truett's Grill will provide brunch for all participants, and at 11 a.m., riders will trek to Locust Grove, making several stops along the way.
The tour will first stop at the Rainbow House, Inc., in Jonesboro to give riders a chance to interact with children at the shelter. It will then move on to Knuckleheads Saloon in McDonough and will end at The Grove Bar and Grill in Locust Grove.
Raffles for high-ticket items, such as flat-screen televisions, digital cameras, portable DVD players, and massage packages will take place at each stop. There also will be an auction at the end of the ride.
Randy Burgess, general manager of Truett's Grill in Morrow, said, "The best thing about the event is support for a common cause and help for Rainbow House.
"They do a lot to help these kids and that's important," said Burgess. "It's a wonderful organization that is in our backyard. It's something that we can call our own, and be proud of."
Henderson said the event will take place rain or shine. "We had a severe fire several years ago that shut us down, and so for us to still be standing, says a lot about our support in the community."
Registration fees for the event range from $25 for the 5k race, to $5 for the Tot Trot for children, aged six and under. The motorcycle ride is $20 per rider and $5 for additional passengers.
To register, visit www.rainbowhouseinc.org, or call Monique Henderson at (770) 692-1733.