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Family Promise of Forsyth County to hold second annual bed race fundraiser

By: Isabel Hughes FORSYTH COUNTY -- While staying in bed all weekend may not be an option for many, a select few will get to race around a track Saturday — while still in bed. Family Promise of Forsyth County will hold its second annual Bed Race and Festival on Aug. 27 at the Creekside United Methodist Church, beginning at 9 a.m. The event is open to the public and about 50 food, merchandise, services and games vendors will be set up. A silent auction will also be held, with one of the items being a chance to spend a week at a beach-front condo in Panama City Beach, Florida. A nonprofit, Family Promise is an offshoot of the national faith-based organization dedicated to ending family homelessness. Last year’s inaugural race raised $26,000 for the organization, and the money raised on Saturday will go towards a passenger van, which, if bought new, costs about $30,000, said Jacob Granados, executive director of the local organization. “At this point, all the money raised will go towards a 15-passenger van, which we desperately need,” he said. “The Bed Race and Festival is a fun event, but most [importantly], it supports our mission of helping homeless families with children in Forsyth County.” Although Family Promise is nondenominational, 13 churches are signed on to house participating families for a week at a time on a rotating basis. Participants are also served meals at the host church, which are prepared and served by volunteers. There were more than 600 students defined as homeless last school year, according to federal standards. Those standards signify anyone who does not live in their own home — they may live in a hotel, in their vehicle, with a non-immediate family member or friend or on the street. That number also includes neither the students’ parents nor their siblings too old or young to attend public school. Family Promise transports students to their base school during the day while their parents attend workforce development and financial planning classes at a centralized day center, which is also where young children receive day care. There are already local chapters operating in at least 40 states, including as close as Hall and Gwinnett counties and the north Fulton area. On Saturday, bed race teams will represent a variety of businesses, churches and civic organizations. Each team attaches wheels to a mattress, which the teams then race around the track. Teams consist of six people: four pushing the bed, one riding and one alternate. Granados said nine teams have registered as of Wednesday — the same number as last year. The entry fee is $125 per team, with each team member receiving a T-shirt. “We encourage our neighbors to participate in the race and support an organization that is so important to our community. It will make a difference in the lives of children,” Granados said. Information on the event can be found at!bed-race-festival-2016/c20ey.

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