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Project ReNeWal recognizes local supporters

Staff Photo: Jay Jones. Katrina P. Young, right, accepts the the Judge Clarence R. Vaughn Jr. Light of Hope Award on behalf of General Mills of Covington from Project ReNeWal President Bill Campbell recently. The award was given to recognize the continuing support from General Mills to the local domestic violence shelter. General Mills was one of six recipients of the Vaughn award along with 27 individuals and businesses given certificates of appreciation during an awards banquet May 20.

Staff Photo: Jay Jones. Katrina P. Young, right, accepts the the Judge Clarence R. Vaughn Jr. Light of Hope Award on behalf of General Mills of Covington from Project ReNeWal President Bill Campbell recently. The award was given to recognize the continuing support from General Mills to the local domestic violence shelter. General Mills was one of six recipients of the Vaughn award along with 27 individuals and businesses given certificates of appreciation during an awards banquet May 20.

CONYERS -- Residents, businesses and public officials were honored by Project ReNeWal for their continuing support of the domestic violence shelter in a first-of-its-kind awards banquet and fundraiser.

Six awards named in honor of Judge Clarence Vaughn Jr., who was the Rockdale Judicial Circuit's first Superior Court judge and a driving force in establishing Project ReNeWal 15 years ago, were presented. Project ReNeWal operates a shelter for victims of domestic violence living in Rockdale, Newton and Walton counties.

Also, 27 businesses and individuals were recognized for their ongoing support with certificates of appreciation.

Project ReNeWal President Bill Campbell said it was the first time the shelter presented awards for support. The banquet was held at Cameron Hall in Conyers and included a silent auction for various gifts and baked goods donated for the event.

"We wanted to thank our supporters and keep them involved," Campbell said. "This is also an opportunity to let everyone know what we're going through while providing this needed service to the community."

State and local government funding has been cut substantially at the shelter, but the demand for services has grown. According to Executive Director Vickie Stephenson, the 20-bed shelter has averaged 23 occupants over the last two months and helped 2,600 people in the past year.

The Judge Vaughn award recipients were:

* The Rockdale County Board of Commissioners, both former and current board members, for funding support.

* The Hospital Authority of Rockdale County for donating use of a building for the shelter.

* Rockdale County District Attorney Richard Reed for funding support and allowing his staff to volunteer or help support the shelter and programs offered.

* General Mills of Covington for financial and other support.

* Garvin Haynes, a Rockdale County resident and community activist, who has supported the shelter for many years and lobbied on the shelter's behalf for county government funding.

* The Cotton Bowl Quilters, a quilters group from Oxford, whose auction of handmade quilts paid for a van for the shelter. Another fundraiser brought $8,000 one year to the shelter, Stephenson said.

Those receiving certificates of appreciation from Project ReNeWal were:

* Aaron Sales

* Affordable Sign Professional

* Allied Recycling Inc.

* Conyers Police Department

* C.R. Bard

* CMB Verizon Wireless

* Courtesy Ford

* Covington Police Officers Who Care

* D & C Fire Protection

* Daryl King

* Elf Engraving

* Heartland Women

* MAADA

* Main Street Conyers

* North Rockdale Baptist Church

* Open Options Security

* Pittman Construction

* Prevent Child Abuse Rockdale

* Publix

* Rockdale County Sheriff's Office

* Rotary Club of Rockdale County

* Scott Fuss

* Telecom Pioneers, Chapter 124

* The Beech Foundation

* Tom Wargo

* Willing Helpers Food Ministry

* Wal-Mart of Loganville

The shelter is continuously seeking help from the community for fund raising and donations of items, services or volunteering.

For more information about Project ReNeWal, call Stephenson at 770-860-9770, or go to www.projectrenewalgeorgia.com.