By Elaine Omann

The Making Strides against Breast Cancer campaign has been a part of the Southside Haverty’s store for the past seven years. The store’s headquarters in Atlanta has adopted this initiative as a way for local stores to give back to their communities. Each store has a captain leading the charge to plan the fundraising events and raise money for this annual event.

At Haverty’s at The Avenues, the store employees get involved in this campaign and include family members who join in the efforts to raise money and compete with other Haverty’s stores in the surrounding area. The captain, Mayia Peterson, and the team create plans for employee participation. They contribute through bake sales, silent auctions and raffles.

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Southside resident Sharon Sharp has been the captain for the previous seven years. Her dedication to this cause is partly related to her two sisters who are double mastectomy survivors of 10 years. Sharp, a crafter and ceramist, creates artwork that reflects her personal story, such as a handmade quilt containing popular breast cancer slogans like One of Eight and Real Men Wear Pink.

Inside the store, two Christmas trees are laden with pink ornaments that were made by Sharp. Some are ceramic hearts, stars or a special chair ornament trimmed with the breast cancer pink ribbon. It is a signature piece of the furniture store. It also has a deeper meaning signifying the “empty chair” at the table for those who have been lost. Other ornaments are designed on cardstock with colorful visuals.

This year, a bright pink tulle wreath has been designed that signifies the fighter in the survival effort and Sharp has artfully incorporated a subliminal bra line to emphasize the cause. Bears are added to the theme “Fight Like a Girl.”

The store’s decorated service counter holds ongoing candy sales and other treats to encourage customers to join in the fundraising. Children of employees get involved with the bake sale and it is difficult to turn down their determined faces. Before the store is opened, sales often begin with high priced bake items and the competition is intense for specialty items.

The Making Strides Walk will be held in Jacksonville on Saturday morning, Oct. 22 in Hemming Park. As Saturday is one of Haverty’s busiest days, the actual walk is not an event the storewide employees can participate in — therefore many functions are held at the store. Rewards for donations and funds raised are casual dress days to include men wearing pink polo shirts or women wearing jeans to work for a day for a $5 contribution. A dress code is in place for normal business hours so this is a goal that many strive to meet. Haverty’s head office recognizes stores for their efforts and individuals may receive prizes which include certificates, recognitions and store items.

The campaign continues through November. Contact the office at (904) 262-8801 for details or contact or for additional information. Make a stride forward and join the effort.

Visit for more information about the Jacksonville event.


Photos courtesy Elaine Omann

Sharon Sharp started the candy sales with seed money from the store and now shares the information with Mayia Peterson, the new captain of the Avenues Treasure Chest fundraising event.


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