Annual fundraiser to aid with Thread expansion

Published 11:00 am Wednesday, August 18, 2021

The third annual Dancing for The Thread is set to take place Saturday, Aug. 21 at the Callaway Conference Center at West Georgia Tech.

The Thread is a multi-use trail that weaves through the city of LaGrange. It allows for foot traffic, recreation, special events, and wellness within the community.

The path was voted on and unanimously accepted in 2016, with construction beginning in 2017 at Granger Park with the “model mile.”

The Dancing for The Thread event is the largest fundraiser held each year by the Friends of The Thread group. Friends of The Thread is the 501(c)3 tax exempt organization that oversees development, fundraising, neighborhood involvement and more in relation to the trail.

Executive Director Natalie Hale said the money raised from this event goes toward the continued maintenance that will eventually connect 29 miles of LaGrange communities.

The inaugural event saw $36,000 raised. The following year brought $76,000. As of printing, the participants had raised $68,000 of a hoped for $80,000, Hale said.

Jim Arrington of the LaGrange City Council will be participating with his wife, Cathy. Arrington believes The Thread has been an important improvement in quality of life for LaGrange residents. He’s looking forward to “just having a good time.” While the Arringtons have been practicing, Jim states that they’re just there to have fun and raise money for a good cause.

The Rev. Chalton Askew, Executive Director of Trustbuilding, Inc. will be competing with his wife, Connie. Askew sees The Thread as an opportunity for the people of LaGrange to interact and move through communities they might not otherwise check out without such straightforward access. He feels The Thread connects us all and allows for exploration and further bridging of different regions. The Thread is “an opportunity to improve mobility and a safe space to move the body.” The Askews are enjoying the relationship they have developed with their choreographer during practice, stating that the building of relationships is an important aspect of The Thread.

He looks forward to demonstrating both dance skills and this relationship-building method of helping the community.

Brian Shumate, superintendent of the Troup County School System, will be dancing with his wife, Dana. Shumate is a big proponent of The Thread and feels it is important to make sure it has ample funding. He’s looking forward to having fun the evening of the event and building relationships within the community.

The Thread is a “valuable asset” to which he “hopes people continue to donate.”

The Thread section currently under construction spans the area from Southbend Park to Kex Mill. The portion from Kex Mill to the Coleman Center is in active design. 

For the competition, the six competing couples have each been paired with a local choreographer. The other couples participating are are Traviera Sewell and Kane Bradfield, Jake Jones and Debbie Burdette and Sam Shaw and Sandy Lee. The judges participating each have a background in dance. Tickets to the event and voting for the couples is on the Friends of The Thread website Votes are $1 each and open to the public.

The event will be livestreamed through the City of LaGrange’s LGTV Facebook page at

For information on Dancing for The Thread, the Friends of The Thread organization, maps, and more visit