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Fun and education about serious topic are goals of Thursday festival
by Tom Spigolon
tspigolon@neighbornewspapers.com
July 02, 2013 10:17 AM | 1043 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From left, S.H.A.R.E. House Executive Director Teresa Smith and S.H.A.R.E. House board member Pat Garner show puppets that will be used to teach children about ‘play safety.’
From left, S.H.A.R.E. House Executive Director Teresa Smith and S.H.A.R.E. House board member Pat Garner show puppets that will be used to teach children about ‘play safety.’
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Organizers are hoping the Festival in the Park Thursday will be a fun event that also brings awareness to a serious problem.

S.H.A.R.E. House will host the 16th annual festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Hunter Park in Douglasville.

Janet Kelley, vice chairwoman of the S.H.A.R.E. House executive committee, said it helps benefit an agency that provides a badly needed service to victims of domestic violence.

“It’s just a good, family-friendly event,” she said.

Williamson Brothers will provide barbecue chicken and pulled pork, and vendor booths will fill the park. A variety of live entertainment will be offered, including the Douglasville Idol and Talent Contest; a special patriotic program featuring music; and live music from the Sojourners Bluegrass Band.

The Sweetwater Pilot Club will sponsor the Children’s Festival 4 Fun area from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. featuring games, puppet shows, face painting, entertainment and prizes. The festival will also feature a raffle featuring $10 tickets and such prizes as an iPad and Six Flags tickets.

Pat Garner, a S.H.A.R.E. House board member and community relations chairwoman, said she is proud of the planned patriotic program.

“We as adults don’t usually show our children our patriotic side,” Garner said. “We’re excited about them seeing that expression.”

The children’s area is an expansion of what was offered at the 2012 event, which only included inflatables, she said.

“I think the children will be so blessed,” she said.

S.H.A.R.E. House is a non-profit organization providing “crisis intervention and the continuum of care to address the causes and effects of family violence,” according to its web site. The crisis intervention facility, founded in 1990, primarily serves Douglas and Paulding counties.

GreyStone Foundation is the presenting sponsor. Other sponsorships and sales of the barbecue, concessions and contest fees throughout the festival benefit S.H.A.R.E. House.

Kelley said she hopes the event increases community awareness of domestic violence, which is not confined to any one racial or ethnic group.

“We would love to go out of business and there not be a need for our services. That is obviously not the case,” said Kelley, a member of the Douglas County School Board.

More than 50,000 cases of domestic violence cases are reported in Georgia annually. Georgia was rated the 10th highest state in the rate men kill women in 2009, according to the Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

S.H.A.R.E. House offers a 24-hour crisis line; an emergency, 25-bed shelter; seven transitional housing units; case management; support groups; emergency food and clothing; educational programs on domestic violence;

S.H.A.R.E. is an acronym for Someone Helping Another through Resources and Education.

Garner noted the festival is S.H.A.R.E. House’s principal fund-raiser following years of cuts from other sources.

“It’s very important,” she said.
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