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TURKEY TROT: COMBATING HUNGER AND BUILDING COMMUNITY SPIRIT

On Thanksgiving morning of 2023, the Silverdale Rotary Club hosted its 6th Annual Silverdale Rotary Turkey Trot. With over 700 participants enjoying a run – or walk! –the event generated over $17,000 for efforts to fight hunger in the community. A win-win for all involved.

Even before final totals were available for the 2023 Turkey Trot, the Silverdale Rotary Club hosted a hands-on work party using proceeds from the event to purchase and pack 360 food bags for at-risk students in our local school district. These bags were filled with enough supplies to feed the students and others in the household for the holiday break. This event gets repeated to provide food for Spring Break. The food baggings in support of our local students are two of our Club’s favorite hands-on projects.

The Turkey Trot was started in 2017 as a fun run around a local shopping center. The appeal in our community for a Thanksgiving Day activity was obvious. In 2021, coming off a missed year for COVID, the event was moved to the Newberry Hill Heritage Park – an outdoor forest preserve that allows the entire event to be run in the woods! This change turned out to be a huge draw. Attendance quickly grew from about 300 in 2021 to over 700 in 2023. This has allowed the Silverdale Rotary to expand our community outreach to support food bagging programs as well as providing grants to other non-profits supporting feeding programs.

Events include a Kids Dash for the little ones and a 1-mile, 5K, or 10K race for everyone else. Participants range from committed runners to families and groups who come out to celebrate the holidays. Some groups arrive in costume, and the level of fun intensifies. The entire event is over by late morning – even allowing time for the walkers to stop for hot chocolate part-way through the course – and everyone – Rotarians, volunteers, and participants alike – are home by late morning for a quick nap before Thanksgiving Day festivities begin.

Click here for a video of the 5K race start. (https://www.youtube.com/shorts/kHhrAzJHiVE)

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