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Miles for Meals Walk set for May 4


By Melissa Robinson
Contributing Editor 

  For many years, R.W. Coley from Hampton would drive nearly every week to Hampton First Baptist Church to pick up delicious and nutritious meals to be delivered to area, homebound seniors through the Henry County Senior Services Meals on Wheels program. With a smile and an armful of nourishment, he would brighten the days of the seniors on his route, who might not otherwise see a friendly face for that week.

The new Miles for Meals T-shirts will feature a design honoring and remembering R. W. Coley.            Special photo

  Coley, who was the Mayor of Hampton, passed away last October leaving a void in many hearts, including those seniors and the staff at Henry County Senior Services, who knew him not as the mayor, but as a kind giving spirit who went out of his way for others. And in his memory, this year’s Miles for Meals Walk, which is set for May 4, is dedicated to Coley and the legacy he leaves behind.

  Miles for Meals volunteer coordinator Rita Green said it was an easy choice to honor Coley for his service, but said that the Meals on Wheels program works because of the many generous volunteers who lend their time to see that Henry County’s homebound seniors get a hot meal and are looked in on from time to time.

  Every year there is a different design and theme for the official Miles for Meals t-shirt and this year’s theme is Lighting the Path and the design features a lighthouse in honor of Coley. Green said Coley loved lighthouses and the image is fitting, as he was like a lighthouse, a beacon of safety and strength for so many.

  “We try to honor someone who has gone the extra mile and Mayor Coley fits that bill. He was always willing to do whatever he could for others and was a dedicated, longtime supporter of Henry County’s senior population. He was the kind of person that, if he knew that a senior that he was delivering to was out of bread or milk, he would take it upon himself to make sure they got what they needed,” said Green. “He would plan meetings around his deliveries so all of his clients received their meals.”

  She said graphic designer Jennifer Jenkins created this year’s logo, as she has been doing for several years.

  “I just tell her what we want to convey and she comes up with the perfect design,” she said.

  According to Green, all the money raised by the Miles for Meals Walk in Henry County stays in Henry County to help its senior citizens and although meals are delivered every day, there is still a waiting list. She said that approximately 225 meals are delivered everyday, Monday through Friday on 21 routes throughout the county. Money raised also helps support the Ensure nutrition program and in-home services for seniors.

 The 19th annual Miles for Meals Walk will be held on May 4 at the Jason T. Harper Event Center at Heritage Park. As the single largest fundraiser organized by the Henry County Council on Aging to benefit Henry County Senior Services’ various programs, every dollar raised stays in Henry County to assist local senior citizens, with the funds helping to provide critical services, such as hot, nutritious meals that are home-delivered each weekday to hundreds of seniors through the Meals on Wheels program, nutritional supplements to those who qualify and in-home health services.  In addition to the meals and services, the Meals on Wheels program offers the benefit of ensuring that the seniors are checked on regularly by a caring volunteer.

  Registration starts at 9 a.m. and the actual walk begins at 10 a.m. Water is provided and a picnic lunch will begin immediately following the walk. All walkers get a free t-shirt and meal ticket for lunch included with their $25 donation. For a $75 donation, walkers receive lunch, a t-shirt, a designer cap and a commemorative Miles for Meals Walk pin. Lunch is being provided by Southerland’s Food Service.

  There will also be a DJ to entertain the crowd and walkers will have a chance to win various door prizes. A clown will be there to entertain the children and Green encourages families to participate.

  “I always say we discourage pets, but feel free to bring your husband and children,” she said. “This a family-friendly event. It’s not a run, it’s a walk and you get to see all of Heritage Park, such as the Veterans Wall of Honor and the Community Gardens, and it’s beautiful.”

  The Jason T. Harper Event Center is located in Heritage Park, 101 Lake Dow Road in McDonough. For walker envelopes and information, or to sponsor the event, please call 770-288-7010 or email For more information on Henry County Senior Services, please visit



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