VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK: Debbie Haworth Peacock dashes for charity

Published 8:00 am Sunday, December 4, 2022

This week’s Vicksburg Post Volunteer of the Week is Debbie Haworth Peacock, who volunteers with the Reindeer Run 5K. Peacock, a Vicksburg native, studied at the University of Mississippi before returning and becoming the owner and Executive Director of Collins Haworth Home Health in Tallulah for 27 years. She is married to Craig Peacock, and they have one son and daughter-in-law who live in Colorado and another son who resides in Texas. She also has a granddaughter named Clara. Peacock is recently retired and is an avid tennis player. 

Where do you volunteer?

For the Reindeer Run, I am the Event Coordinator. I also serve on the Zoning Board for the City of Vicksburg, am the coordinator of the Krewe of Barkus, am Past Chairman of the Main Street Board and I am on the fellowship committee, the mission and outreach committee and am part of the usher team at First Presbyterian Church.

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How did you start volunteering for the Reindeer Run?

It started when I was in a running group called Marathon Makeover. Over the years, several of us would talk about doing some sort of charity run. I just love parades, so I thought that it would be fun to do something to coordinate a run with the Christmas parade. On the day that I sold my business, I went to Cocktails 101 and just happened to meet Leigh Buce, who had just moved to town as the general manager for Margaritaville. She wanted to get involved locally, so I told her that I had been wanting to start a Christmas-themed charity run. She was all in and said that they would provide the venue and the food. When planning an event, the venue is one of the most important things. So I called up Cynthia Freeny, who had also recently retired, and said, “You’re not going to believe this,” when I told her about the venue. That was in May, our first Reindeer Run was the following December. Paws Rescue was a natural fit for us, because we are all dog lovers.

How long have you been volunteering for the Reindeer Run?

This is our fourth year. Over the last three years, we have raised over $60,000 for Paws Rescue. For our run this weekend, we have raised over $30,000. We won’t have the final number until after the event.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering?

I would say, do it. I think volunteering is so fulfilling. My parents had me volunteering since I was a child. My dad was very involved with the Vicksburg Theater Guild. When my sister and I were 10 and 12 ( maybe younger), my dad had us at the Sprague selling peanuts for “Gold in the Hills.” When my mom worked at Mercy Hospital, she had me volunteering as a candy striper. I think that it is important to get your kids involved when they are young. We have some wonderful teenagers from the schools that help us at the Reindeer Run. This year, we have a Girl Scout troop volunteering. You can never be too young or too old to volunteer.

What have you learned from volunteering with the Reindeer Run?

The generosity of our community is just overwhelming. Starting a new event is not easy, and the people and businesses in our community step up when asked for help. We have over 80 sponsors this year. 

Any additional comments?

I appreciate all the volunteers that participate in the Reindeer Run. I am just one part of the team that puts this event together. I would also like to thank my husband for being so patient with all of my volunteer work. 

If there is a volunteer who should be featured, please submit their name and contact information to volunteer@vicksburgpost.com.