Riders from throughout the Southern Crescent area drove the streets of Henry County over the weekend in the “Cruisin for a Cause” motorcycle ride. The fund-raiser was a benefit for Shining Light Ministries, in memory of Brittany Sparks.
Sparks died as a result of an accidental drug overdose, according to her mother, Debbie Swanson. The 22-year-old passed away on July 7, 2011.
“She battled the addiction for five years. She wasn’t a resident of Shining Light; however, I don’t want her death to be in vain. I want to raise awareness of the problem and try to save other Brittanys of the world,” said her mother.
“I was overwhelmed with emotion that so many people came out to ride for the cause,” said Swanson, who is a Shining Light Ministries board member. “Because there is not that much awareness of what Shining Light does for the county, my purpose was to raise awareness that a program is here and available in Henry County.”
The event was hosted by Truett’s Grill, on Jonesboro Road, in McDonough. Swanson was on hand for the event, and admitted she was surprised at the large number of riders.
More than 100 riders signed up for the fund-raiser.
“We raised $2,500 at the ride,” said Shining Light Ministries Founder, Teresa Bestwick, who lauded the turnout. Shining Light Ministries is a successful Level three residential drug and alcohol treatment center for women, she explained.
“[It] is the only program of its kind in this area,” said Bestwick. “There are 75 female inmates and there are no funds to bring in the homeless and drug-addicted women.”