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Local event to benefit Haven House

A portion of proceeds from the sale of children's items will benefit local victims of domestic violence.

The charitable endeavor — involving the debut of a four-day, children's consignment event — is inspired the death of 19-year-old Brandie Danielle Davis, of McDonough, who was killed an acquaintance, in December 2009.

Organizers have planned the event, called Duck-Duck-Goose Atlanta, for March 23-26, at 1929 Mt. Zion Road, in the former Just for Feet location, next to Barnes & Noble, in Morrow.

"[Friends] approached me because they wanted to do an event in Danielle's name," said her mother, Stephanie Garcia.

Daryl Anthony Priestley, also of McDonough, pleaded guilty to Davis' murder in December, and received a life sentence plus 10 years.

Garcia acknowledged Davis and Priestley had been acquaintances. Her daughter was a student at Ogeechee Technical College, and Priestley was a student at East Georgia College, both in Statesboro.

Duck-Duck-Goose Atlanta is a premier children's consignment event, a local franchise owned Phyllis Whelan of Acworth, Ga. It was Whelan who approached Garcia with the idea of hosting the event.

The Duck-Duck-Goose sale event will be open daily, from 10 a.m., until 8 p.m., as a way to help the community creating an opportunity for families to donate their new, and gently used items for sale, according to Whelan.

Whelan said about 10 percent of all sales on Friday, March 25, will go to help support the mission of the McDonough-based Haven House, a non-profit shelter and program for victims of domestic violence.

"We're real excited about it, and I hope everyone will sign up and take part in this event," said Marjorie Lacy, the executive director of Haven House.

Lacy, who plans to volunteer at the event, said the issue of domestic violence is far-reaching. In January, Haven House answered 325 crisis calls, and provided shelter to 17 adults and 26 children. There were 101 new outreach clients served the non-profit's resources, the executive director added.

"We're very blessed in Henry County to have an institution like that [Haven House]," said Garcia, Davis' mother. "I've never been in an abusive situation, so I don't know what it's like," she continued. "But, I can only imagine what it's like to be a mother at Haven House with nothing more than the clothes on your back. It's a safe place for them to go...until they can stabilize themselves."

Garcia said she kept the local non-profit, and its efforts, in mind as she went through her daughter's belongings, picking out various gently- worn clothing items, to donate to the cause. She plans to attend the event, and donate about 50 items in support of Haven House, she said.

The mother recalled helping her daughter make clothing donations, as a young child, to a children's shelter in Atlanta.

"She always wanted to take her things there, and it was important," said Garcia. "It's a good cause."

"We give back to the community," said Whelan, who added that the for-profit consignment franchise has given to several charities throughout the years.

Whelan said consignors can receive 70 percent from each item sold. A consignor must bring a minimum of 30 acceptable items to be consigned and hand-screened. She said there is a $15 participation fee, which is discounted to $5 when consignors volunteer.

"We are not looking for retailers to participate, but we are looking for vendors and sponsors for the event," she continued. "We need consignors and shoppers."

Whelan said some local schools will be consignors themselves, using the event as a school fund-raising project.

Consignment vendors and volunteers are asked to learn more visiting the Duck-Duck-Goose Atlanta web site at www.dkdkgoose.com/atlanta. She said consignors will receive a profits check the day they pick up their unsold items, if they choose not to donate to Haven House. Items that are not sold may be donated to Haven House, and its Blessings Thrift Store.

The Blessings Thrift Store, located at 86 Workcamp Road in McDonough, is open from 10 a.m., until 4 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Lacy encourages domestic violence victims to seek help, through the non-profit's 24-hour crisis hotline, at (770) 954-9229, or its web site, at www.havenhouse.org.

"We hope that any victim of domestic violence will try to contact us and get some help," said Lacy.