Gordon's Creek Run raises funds for R3SM

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Dozens of Hattiesburg-area residents hit the fog-covered streets of East Hattiesburg Saturday morning to raise money for an organization which continues to help victims of Hurricane Katrina. More than 80 runners and walkers participated in the 3rd annual, "Gordon's Creek 5K Walk and 10K Run.

It was a fundraiser for the Recover, Rebuild and Restore Southeast Mississippi organization. It helps homeowners that were hurt by Katrina.

Specifically, funds raised today will help finish the restoration of a volunteer house on Buschman St. It will be used by out-of-town volunteers who will help R3SM do its work.

"Our capital campaign that we established a couple of years ago was to raise $500,000...to date, we've raised about $400,000 and we certainly thank everyone in the community who has helped us do that, especially the Asbury Foundation," said Sheila Varnado, executive director of R3SM. "But, we're looking to raise perhaps another $200,000 that will allow us to complete the building," Varnado said.

"We hope to see a team (of volunteers) in January and we hope they will be housed here (at the volunteer house)," said Joe White, chairman of the board of directors for R3SM. "Some of the members of that team have been down here...this will be their 3rd year," White said.

When completed, the volunteer house will also be home to R3SM's administrative offices.

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