News Releases

Race for Safe Place Raises $24,797 for Children & Family Programs

UNION CITY, Ga – June 17, 2021 – The second annual Race for Safe Place on Saturday, June 12, raised $24,797 and involved 84 participants of all ages. The 5K and 1-mile fun run/walk event was held on the 500-acre Christian City campus in south Fulton County.

“With the 2020 Race for Safe Place canceled due to COVID-19, we were very excited for this year’s race to happen in person,” said Mary Elizabeth Kirkpatrick, founder of the Christian City Teen Board, host of the annual Race for Safe Place.

PHOTO ABOVE (by Larry Regier): The overall female and male winners were Jessica Ridley and Jason Veclotch

Proceeds benefit Christian City Children & Family Programs, including the Safe Place Runaway & Homeless Youth Program, which provides trusted help and a place of safety for runaway and homeless youth who are on the streets and in danger of human trafficking. “We are grateful to the sponsors and participants who came out to support the important work that impacts many lives,” said LaVann Landrum, Christian City Chief Advancement Officer.

The overall female and male winners, Jessica Ridley and Jason Veclotch, each received a pair of running shoes, compliments of Dragonfly Running Company in Newnan, Ga. Every runner received a race t-shirt, and prizes were awarded to top runners in each age division. Top sponsors at the “Triumphant” level included: The Coleman Family, Misty Meadows Foundation, Kelly Rodts, RDJE, Inc. – Ronny Jones, and an Anonymous sponsor.

PHOTO ABOVE (by Larry Regier): Three generations of the Adams family participated in the 5K and all were top finishers in their age groups. Pictured from left are Norm Adams, Rowe Adams, Badge Adams, and Normer Adams, Christian City Trustee Emeritus.

Children’s Village house parent, Josh Ellig, led a warm-up for participants prior to the race. Safe Place Coordinators, Tam, and Kelvin Finlay thanked runners, walkers, and sponsors for supporting the mission. “We take calls from youth in all types of crisis situations – locked out, kicked out, and domestic violence, for example. We bring them to the Safe Place home at Christian City and help get them back to some type of normalcy and permanency,” said Tam Finlay.

Eight senior residents, three Trustees, several staff members, and Christian City’s President and CEO, Keith Horton, participated in the race. “We are thrilled to host this event on Christian City’s beautiful campus, where our mission each day is to help children and seniors thrive,” Horton said to the crowd before the race. “Thank you to the Teen Board, sponsors, participants, volunteers, staff, and all who made this event a great success,” he said.

PHOTO ABOVE (by Larry Regier): Crossing the finish line are runners, Kyle Waters (left) and Steven Marcet.

Visit to see photos from the race. For a list of all event sponsors, visit

About Safe Place Runaway & Homeless Youth Program

PHOTO ABOVE (by Larry Regier): Safe Place Coordinators, Tam Finlay (left) and Kelvin Finlay, provided information about the Safe Place Program at Christian City. Their daughter, Airris Finlay (center), is a member of the Christian City Teen Board.

Christian City is the local agency for the National Safe Place program, with staff available 24/7. Working in partnership with QuikTrip gas stations, metro Atlanta YMCAs, some fire and police stations in Fulton, Douglas, Carroll, Fayette, Coweta, DeKalb, and Cobb counties, youth in crisis can call or text for help and a member of the Christian City staff will respond immediately to bring youth to safety while finding a long-term solution for their care. Proceeds from the Race for Safe Place benefit the Children & Family Programs, with a focus on raising awareness for the Safe Place Runaway and Homeless Youth Program.

About Christian City

Christian City was established 56 years ago when the first cottage for abused and abandoned children opened on Valentine’s Day 1965. Today, there are more than 1,000 residents, both children and senior adults, living at Christian City, a nonprofit organization that depends on the generosity of donors for financial support. With a $10.2 million annual budget, the 500-acre campus, located 15 minutes south of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and adjacent to the Fayette County border, includes the Children’s Village Residential Program, Crossroads Foster Care & Adoption Program, Safe Place Runaway & Homeless Youth Program, Thrive Graduate Transition Program, active senior living patio homes and apartments, thrift store, assisted living center, skilled nursing & rehab center, memory care, home health and hospice care. Christian City Children & Family Programs help provide children in crisis a safe home in a loving family environment to grow and thrive. The nonprofit serves the entire metro Atlanta area and beyond. For more information, visit or call 770-703-AMEN (2636).

PHOTO ABOVE (by Larry Regier): Christian City resident, Lindsey Carpenter (center), received her race medal from Lissa Rand, Associate Director of Development, and Keith Horton, President and CEO.

PHOTO ABOVE (by Larry Regier): Christian City Teen Board members, (from left) Mary Elizabeth Kirkpatrick, Isabella Moffett, Hannah Claire Brown, Jaq Kellett, and Banks Coggin, managed the check-in table and cheered for runners at the finish line.


PHOTO ABOVE (by Larry Regier): Christian City Children’s Village house parent, Josh Ellig (at left), is pictured after the race with medal winners, (from left) Clarence Watkins, Ashlynn Ellig, Cornell Travick, Joshua Fowler-Patrick.