Fundraiser brings Woodstock to life, benefits shelter

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CUMMING, Ga. — Sixties fever and the Woodstock-era came alive at the Reid Barn in Cumming on May 4.

Forsyth County Family Haven launched a second successful fundraiser for their shelter’s needs with a blend of good food, a live band and the flare of tie-dyed gatherers partying the night away.

Guests had a choice between purchasing raffle tickets and staying past 9 p.m. to participate in the silent auction with opening bids ranging from $25 to a $4,500 vacation to Costa Rica.

All proceeds will support Family Haven’s shelter with its supplies that go to new families coming in for help.

Aside from the support, big sponsors also contributed to the event, including Kohl’s Care, Northside Hospital Forsyth, Tam’s Backstage and Verizon Wireless.

Last year’s event raised about $20,000. Typically, the shelter facility is full with 27 beds. Families can stay up to 90 days, so the needs are great to keep the facility functioning, said Tara Hall, the shelter’s executive director.

“With these hard economic times, people can make poor coping skills choices,” Hall said. “The reality is that victims need help and have helpful resources waiting for them at this shelter. There is something for everyone here.”

Hall said she sees firsthand how the shelter helps families progress from bad situations of domestic abuse to become survivors.

“We need these fundraisers to be able to help the families,” Hall said. “There are shelters in Atlanta, but Forsyth is accessible for families here.”

Linda and Dennis Whittle, former Family Haven board members, came up with the idea for a 1969 Woodstock festival theme.

They held a similar party, and it went better than expected.

“If our friends would pay to come to it, why not make it a fundraiser?” said Dennis Whittle. “It got bigger than our wildest dreams.”

About 200 attendees came to lend their support.

“We are very pleased with the turnout,” Hall said.

For more information, visit www.forsythcountyfamilyhaven.info.