Turkey Trot to benefit animals

Published 9:27 pm Friday, November 12, 2010

Runners in last year’s Turkey Trot 5K race set off on the course. This year’s event will benefit the Suffolk Humane Society.

You can start the holidays off on the right foot by engaging in a healthy activity and helping some of the most helpless in the community.

The Riverfront Swim Club is hosting its seventh annual Turkey Trot 5K Run and Walk on Nov. 20 at 9 a.m. All proceeds will benefit the Suffolk Humane Society.

“Each year we do a race and benefit a charity,” said Pam Sweet, director of the swim club. “One of our residents volunteers at the society and came up with the idea. The fact of the matter is that everyone in our community loves their animals. We have so many residents out walking their dogs. We just decided it would be a good mix.”

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The run has benefited the shelter since 2007, when the shelter first opened.

Proceeds from previous events went toward the HER Shelter and a breast cancer foundation.

The race will feature seven age divisions, including a “gobbler run” for children 12 and under. Pre-registration for adults is $12 and $10 for children. Registration the day of the event is $14 for adults and $12 for children.

Dogs are allowed to accompany registered runners, but the dogs must be on a leash.

The walk and run path winds through the Riverfront community and through Harbour View. It will finish at the swim club, where participants will enjoy a post-race celebration with food and awards.

Area businesses including A. Dodson’s, Tropical Smoothie Café, Cold Stone Creamery, Anytime Fitness, Foot Solutions, Family Chiropractic and Bennett’s Creek Pharmacy have donated raffle items.

“We usually have around 100 runners come out the day of the event,” Sweet said. “It’s just a good opportunity to get out in nice, cool weather and enjoy each other’s company while helping get medical care, food and bedding to the dogs and cats who need it.”

Suffolk Humane Society also will accept donations of pet food, dog and cat toys and other pet-related items at this event. They are in particular need of kitten food, canned cat food and either biodegradable or Tidy Cat clumping litter. They will also accept unwanted towels and collapsible wire crates.

“We’re so grateful for everything we receive,” said Kay Hurley of the Suffolk Humane Society. “It’s so important, because our companion animals have no voice except for what we give them. How we treat our defenseless — pets or people — defines us as a community.”