‘Star’ filled Saturday in Suffolk

Published 8:58 am Thursday, April 11, 2024

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SUFFOLK, VIRGINIA — STAR Haven did not waste a beautiful spring Saturday by filling the air at Mary Estes Park with music, dancing, and food at its annual Appreciation Day event.

The event featured food, music, and free clothes for children in need. Attending kids could also win prizes from a dance contest and a scavenger hunt.

STAR Haven President Kianna Boone talked about bringing Suffolk kids and their families together to have safe fun in the community.

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“It’s spring; a lot of people are sitting in the house playing games,” Boone said. “It’s a time to get out and really have a good, safe space to have a good time and enjoy the weather. Minus the pollen!”

While helping out with food and activities, both STAR Haven Members Sharon Daughtrey and Millie Hopkins also talked about the event, with Daughtrey noting that she always looks forward to it.

“It’s just a big deal right here in our community,” Daughtrey said. “People look forward to us coming and it just feels so good just to see the kids and their parents come out, have fun, play games and dance …”

For Hopkins, she says she enjoys giving back and seeing people unite peacefully.

“I like to see when everybody just come together in a peaceful manner,” Hopkins said. “With so much going on in the negative, [this] gives the kids something positive to look forward [to]. That gives me more happiness to see that I could put a smile on somebody else’s face.”

DJ Raymond Felton, who usually serves as part of STAR Haven’s marketing, talked about working with the nonprofit for four and a half years and the organization’s work to fight against food deserts.

“There are a lot of communities that are damaged. We have a problem with food deserts and one of the things is that we make sure that our youth get the proper nutrition, so they’ll be able to grow up and be able to function in society just like everybody else,” Felton said. “Because everybody knows that in poverty stricken neighborhoods, we have food banks. But in upscale neighborhoods where they have the big grocery store chains, they don’t have food banks. They have farmers markets. So we want to make sure that the people in the damaged communities get the same opportunities as those in privileged neighborhoods.”

When asked what he wants attendees to take away the most from the event, Felton said that STAR Haven has “nothing but love” for everyone.

“We want to make sure that everybody [has] a great time and know that we’re here to meet them wherever they are,” Felton said.

For donations and support, mail to

Star Haven

P.O. Box 3411

Suffolk, Virginia 23439

For more information about STAR Haven, go to starhaveninc.org, facebook.com/starhavensuffolkva, or call 757-793-1888.