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Conyers Refuge Pregnancy Center hosts 5K fundraiser

CONYERS -- Refuge Pregnancy Center Inc. in Conyers has been helping pregnant women in crisis for nearly 30 years. Now, the center is asking the community for financial assistance to continue carrying out its mission.

The center will host its first 5K, called "Run the Race for Life," on Saturday, March 31, at its 1307 Milstead Ave. location in Conyers.

The 5K gets under way at 8 a.m. and will wind through scenic Olde Town Conyers. A 1-mile fun run/walk will take place at 8:30 a.m. followed by a tot trot at 8:45 a.m.

Pre-registration runs through March 26 and is $20 for the 5K and 1 mile run. Everyone who pre-registers will get a T-shirt. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. the day of the event and is $25. The tot trot is free. Awards will be given to first- through third-place winners in each age group.

To register, visit www.active.com or call 770-922-5939.

The event is a fundraiser for Refuge Pregnancy Center, founded in 1984, and serves clients in Rockdale, Newton and DeKalb counties. The average client is between age 17 and 22, but the center has assisted clients as young as 10 and as old as 49, according to Director Janice Olejnik.

"Our main emphasis is for women who find themselves in a pregnancy situation and don't know which way to turn, whether it's financial, emotional, whatever it is, we sit down and talk with them and lay out a plan of what needs to be done," Olejnik said.

The center offers free pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, pregnancy and GED classes and baby clothes, food, diapers, cribs and other necessities. The center also offers a seven-week post abortion course for women having difficulty coping with their decision to have an abortion.

"We have no qualification for services. Anybody that needs help is welcome to come. We've never turned anybody away. If we don't have what they need, we get a resource list of places to send them," Olejnik said.

Services are free and confidential.

The center follows up with clients monthly to make sure they are on track with doctors visits and other components of their plan.

Olejnik said she hopes to raise $15,000 to purchase educational materials, cribs, car seats and other items.