Turkey Trot

A “turkey” was accompanied by other participants during last year’s Turkey Trot 5K Fun Run/Walk at St. Bonaventure University on Thanksgiving Day. This year’s event, conducted by the Olean Family YMCA, will be held on Thanksgiving at the university and will benefit the Olean Food Pantry.

OLEAN — Brightly colored, human-size “turkeys” as well as dozens of other runners and walkers will once again be seen on St. Bonaventure University’s trail Thanksgiving Day during the annual Turkey Trot 5K Fun Run/Walk to benefit the Olean Food Pantry.

Y officials said the annual event, sponsored by the Olean Family YMCA, has a goal of bringing people together to promote healthy living, while raising funds for the food pantry.

The fee for the non-timed event, which typically attracts over 200 participants, is $5 for Y members and $10 for the public. Participants check in at St. Bonaventure’s Murphy Auditorium between 8 and 8:45 a.m. Nov. 28, with the 5K event slated to begin at 9 a.m.

“One of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions, the Turkey Trot, it’s so much more than just a chance to burn calories before a Thanksgiving feast,” said Mark Johnson, marketing and communications director of the YMCA of the Twin Tiers. “It’s an opportunity to bring our community together, to give thanks and to help raise money that will feed our friends and neighbors in need this holiday season. We hope to see a great turnout this year as we continue to serve our community.”

Other Y officials who commented on the event included Christie Thornton, Olean YMCA associate executive director.

“The Turkey Trot is one of our favorite events each year,” Thornton said. “This year’s event is the first time where we are asking for monetary donations in place of food donations as it allows the Food Pantry to purchase what they need most, and it is more convenient for anyone registering for the event.

“We’re asking for $5 or $10 donations (or larger if desired) at the time of registration, and all money raised will go directly to the Food Pantry.”

DB Busan, warehouse manager of the Food Pantry, shared, “We are very grateful for the compassion and generosity of our community members who make donations when registering for the Turkey Trot. We buy hundreds of pounds of product at a time, as well as receive discounts due to our nonprofit status.

“We can make a dollar go much further than an individual would be able to at a grocery store,” she added, noting this is due to the fact that they’re able to buy wholesale or in bulk.

To save time at the event, participants can pre-register by visiting the Olean Y on Wayne Street, or by calling 373-2400. Information is also available online at www.twintiersymca.org.

Light refreshments will be available at the event, which is sponsored by the Olean Medical Group, Bradford Manor and Jones Memorial Hospital.

(Contact reporter Kate Day Sager at kates_th@yahoo.com. Follow her on Twitter, @OTHKate)