Family of New Paltz will hold their eighth annual Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 24. All of the money will directly benefit the food pantry that Family of New Paltz uses to help feed families in the local area.
The idea for the fundraiser originated from a friend of Planning Committee Member Dawn Tomassi. Other areas host a similar Thanksgiving Day event and she thought the New Paltz community could benefit from one.
According to Tomassi, the goals of the Turkey Trot are to get families out together on Thanksgiving Day to exercise and to raise money for the Family of New Paltz.
All the costs are covered by donations from local businesses that fund the event.
Organizations that have made significant contributions to the event include the local law firm Feldman, Kleidman and Coffey, Rock and Snow and Health & Nutrition Center.
A majority of the sponsors have supported the event since its inception.
“The event T-shirts are the only expense,” Tomassi said. This year, local artist Ryan Cronin designed the shirts.
Between 1,200 and 1,500 participants are expected to attend.
Early registration is between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23 at Rock and Snow. This is only for participants who have met the pre-registration deadline of Nov. 11. Participants can pick up their T-shirts at this time.
The trot, directed by Gunter Stilhaus, will start at 8 a.m. with registration at Water Street Market. The Fuzzy Lollipops will provide family-style entertainment.
At 9 a.m., kids 10 years old and younger will participate in a quarter mile run called the Mashed Potato Run. This takes place across from Water Street Market and children run on the Rail Trail, turning back just before Plains Road.
Each child will receive a complimentary medal at the end of the race.
“Everyone wins. There is no competitiveness,” Tomassi said.
At 9:30 a.m. the 5K run will start, which is approximately 3.1 miles long.
The 5K begins at the Water Street Market and participants will head south on Water Street. They then turn right onto Plains Road and follow it until it ends. A left will be made onto the Rail Trail to finish the race.
The New Paltz Boy Scouts will be at the 1, 2 and 3 mile markers to provide runners and walkers with their times.
The Planning Committee will time and calculate the results for the first 300 runners that complete the race.
At 10:30 a.m., first place male and female runners will receive awards. Awards will also be given to the first place finishers in age groups 0-18, 19-65 and 65 and older who finish in the top 300.
Tomassi said she believes this event is a great way to give back to the community and keep the holiday spirit alive.