Statesboro’s Teal House holds 5K to raise money for sexual assault advocacy

Ashley Watts, Multimedia Journalist

Members of the Statesboro community came together on campus to participate in a 5K benefiting The Teal House, the Statesboro Regional Sexual Assault & Child Advocacy Center. The Teal House works to provide emotional support and advocacy to victims of sexual assault. 

“We’re a 501(c)3 state funded non-profit, and so once a victim walks through these doors they don’t have to pay for anything. They don’t pay for exams or interviews. We offer counseling completely free of charge.” explained Teal House director, Lily Gray.

The Teal House first held the race in March of 2020 but were unable to hold the event last year because of the pandemic. With COVID regulations lifted, they hope to make the 5K an annual event.

“Really it’s just a time to engage the community, both on campus and off campus, about The Teal House. Provide some education and information about Teal House services, but also how the community can help prevent sexual violence, and then raise some money for the Teal House.” said Teal House secretary and GSU Sexual Assault Response Team Chair, Lauren Patterson. 

While The Teal House is state funded, it wouldn’t be able to carry out its mission without support from the community. Several local businesses sponsored the event, including Franklin Chevrolet and the Statesboro Herald. Even though fundraising is important, there are endless ways you can get involved with The Teal House.

“Reach out to The Teal House and ask if there’s anything they need. Sometimes, you know, they just need somebody to come by to sweep the floor, or they might need somebody to come help repaint the porch, or just little tasks like that. It’s helpful when the community is willing to pitch in and help them move forward.” said Patterson.

The race route started at the RAC, went up Akins Blvd through campus, and then looped back to the RAC. The first, second, and third place winners for each age group received a medal. Most of the runners were sporting their Teal House shirts and excited to get in some exercise for a cause..

“We did it a couple of years ago and we think it’s for a worthy cause, and we love the t-shirt that’s why we do it.” said runner, Carol Edwards. 

“I chose to run today to support Teal House because I believe so strongly in their cause. I work with emotionally & behaviorally distrubed young people and what we see most often from them is that they come from a trauma background. So we need to raise awareness and we need funding for resources.” stated runner, Veronica Anklam.