Loving Arms Cancer Outreach to host Day of Hope festival
by Jason Lowrey
Mar 09, 2014 | 942 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In what one organizer described as an “old fashioned-style” festival, the Loving Arms Cancer Outreach is holding a Day of Hope Saturday, May 3, in downtown Euharlee. All proceeds from the festival and its events will go toward Loving Arms, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting cancer patients who are undergoing treatment.

“But about 90 percent of the money that we make goes to help patients either directly or indirectly,” said Kathy Foulk, one of the event organizers. “Either through support groups, wigs, whatever their needs are or helping to pay utility bills, rent, groceries, gas, things like that.”

Starting off the day will be a 5-kilometer run open to all ages. Before April 19, entry fees for adults are $25, children 6 to 12 years old are $10 and any child younger than 5 is free. After April 19, and up to the day of the race, registration increases to $30 for adults and $15 for children. Entry includes a free T-shirt. Those interested can register online at https://endurancecui.active.com/event-reg/select-race?e=6925153.

Registration and number pick up will start at 7 a.m. at Frankie Harris Park.

Following the 5k will be the Barnyard Bed Race at 9 a.m., which will involve customized twin-sized beds being pushed down Covered Bridge Road from roughly city hall to the covered bridge.

“It’s a good fundraiser. You have five people, four pushers and one rider and then you can have a pit crew of five, and after the race your bed is displayed on pit row to earn money for people voting for you and then there’s a $500 prize for the fastest bed. So it’ll be a timed race,” Foulk said.

The entry fee for the bed race is $100 through April 5 and increases to $125 after April 5 and before the April 24 registration deadline. A packet with all the specifications for the beds is available from Loving Arms. In addition to the $500 prize, awards will be given out for Best Bed Design, Most Outrageous Bed and the Broken Spring Award, which Foulk described as an award for “what were they thinking?”

Aside from the races, Foulk, Loving Arms Cofounder Shamichael Traylor and organizer Margaret Hembree said the festival would include either a chicken or greased pig catching event, three-legged races, sack races, entertainment throughout the day and team booths.

“But we don’t want the bouncy houses. We want to make it a very family event,“ Foulk said. “We’ll have pony rides, we’ll have see who can catch a greased pig or chicken, or both. ... We want to do like three-legged races and potato sack races, the old-fashioned things where it’s a family thing instead of send the kid off and they’re going to play on a bouncy house. ... We’re looking for sponsors. We’re looking for teams.”

Team registration is $100 as well, and they are encouraged to decorate their booth in the color of the cancer they are representing. If a team registers for the bed race and for a booth, the cost is $150.

“We don’t want to really compete with [Relay for Life]. I mean, there are a lot of people really committed to Relay, but there’s a lot of people here that needs the help. So we’re looking for ... we’ll be doing a silent auction as well. If we can get a couple of big items Joe Tilley’s going to do a live auction for us. We’ll have entertainment going on all day long. We’ll have a chair auction; that’s where we’ve had local artists paint chairs,” Foulk said.

The charity, which is a 501(c)(3) organization, is also planning a series of fundraisers before the festival. Bake sales are planned for April 17 and 18 at the Hope Center and Cartersville Medical Center, respectively. For those interested in taking part in the bake sale, contact Hembree at 770-607-6712.

Another fundraiser involves flocking.

“I don’t know if we want to say this too much ahead of time or not, but don’t be surprised if you wake up one morning and your front yard is covered with pink flamingos,” Foulk said. “You’ve been flocked. ... It’s a fundraiser and you pay to have somebody’s house flocked, and we go and we set out — and you can buy different sized flocks, like a dozen or two dozen — and we have a sign that’ll go with it that says you’ve been flocked and it’s a fundraiser for Day of Hope. Now you can buy anti-flocking insurance if you don’t want to be flocked at all, and we’ll probably start this the second week of April.

“... To be flocked, fill out a form on a buddy of yours ... and we’ll leave them there for two days, maybe three days, and if you want them removed early you have to pay. But if you leave them there for the 36 hours or whatever, then we’ll automatically come back and pick them [up]. But a lot of times when your yard gets flocked then you’ll want to flock somebody else.”

Organizers are looking for volunteers to help run the festival, and they emphasized it was not a Euharlee-only event.

“And the thing is about it, this is not just for Cartersville, it’s not just for Euharlee. The reason we’re doing it in Euharlee is because we got the park at no cost,” said Foulk. “But this is a whole county-wide event, so for us to get up in northern Bartow County, or even down in Emerson, we don’t know a whole lot of people other than some of the churches and stuff like that.”

With the proceeds from the festival and fundraiser going toward helping cancer patients pay their bills, purchase medication and other quality of life improvements, Hembree said patients not having to worry about those expenses will be a boost to their health.

“Not only that, when they have all that against them and all those bills and they don’t have income, that plays out and even makes them lower with cancer because it affects them mentally,” she said.

For more information on the festival events, registering teams or volunteering, call Foulk at 770-634-0557. For more information on Loving Arms, visit www.lovingarmscanceroutreach.com.

The festival planning committee meets every Monday at 7 p.m. at Tabernacle Baptist Church, 112 E. Church St., Cartersville.