Running for a cause

Published 10:17 am Friday, May 15, 2015

Photos by AMY RHOADS Several children participate in last year's fun run to raise money for the Doll's House.

Photos by AMY RHOADS
Several children participate in last year’s fun run to raise money for the Doll’s House.

The Doll’s House Rehabilitation Center for Women will host its second annual 5K walk/run and fun run, as well as kick off its annual car giveaway, Saturday in downtown Brookhaven. 

Stephanie Turner and her husband, Johnnie, are the executive directors of the Doll’s House. The non-profit organization is dedicated to helping women, offering assistance with long-term transitional housing, life skills training and all of the support the Turners can give.

Registration for the 5K walk/run starts at 7 a.m. Saturday, followed by the walk/run at 8 a.m. at the Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce. A fun run for kids will start at 9 a.m. Stephanie Turner said anyone may still register before the event for $20 by calling the Doll’s House or for $25 on Saturday. Registration includes a T-shirt.

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The Doll’s House is giving away a 2015 Ford Fiesta that the winner will receive without having to pay sales tax. Sullivan Ford of Brookhaven is the car giveaway sponsor this year, providing the car that will be on site Saturday. Turner said having the 5K event kick off the car giveaway will make for a big day.

The car giveaway is the organization’s largest.

A $20 ticket buys a chance to win the car, with tickets being sold Saturday and continuing for eight weeks. Turner said the Doll’s House is pulling for a Brookhaven winner this year, as someone in McComb won in

Johnnie Turner, one of the Doll's House's executive directors, enjoys his run during last year's fundraising event.

Johnnie Turner, one of the Doll’s House’s executive directors, enjoys his run during last year’s fundraising event.

2013 and in 2014 the winning ticket was bought by Clint’s Pharmacy.

Turner said the fundraising events this weekend are especially important as the transitional housing and rehabilitation center is hoping to break ground soon on its new independent living cottages. She said the women at the Doll’s House will graduate from dormitory-style living to the cottages, and they are in the process now of gathering sponsors and church or other groups to build them.

“We’re at capacity at the house, so it is imperative that we get started as soon as possible,” Turner said. “The waiting list is getting longer of women needing the help.”

Turner said some sponsors of the organization will be represented Saturday, and their corporate and business sponsors will be announced soon.

“But I can tell you there are some businessmen in our community who are stepping up for the women in our community, and it is totally, totally awesome,” Turner said.

Turner said the event will be family-friendly as well as an opportunity for the community and individuals to run for women in transition.

“Everyone can think of a woman in their family who has fallen on hard times,” Turner said. “Whether it was abuse or former incarceration — there needs to be a place, and there is a place now, where a woman can come and not worry about having to do things on her own before she is able. She can come and get the support she needs to get up and get her life back.

“Last year we had daddies that came and ran with their children,” she said. “Husbands running for their wives, and [men running for their] sisters, moms or cousins or aunts. We invite everyone to run for women in transition. You can run for that woman in your family. We invite everyone and anyone to come out and have a fun-filled time.”