By Nance Ebert, Contributing Writer
Westborough – The Westborough Turkey Trot is a fun-filled fundraising event where faculty, members of the community, families and young children come together for a common cause.
In its third year, the Westborough Turkey Trot originally came about collaboratively as a fundraiser to raise money for things needed in the district. The first two years resulted in raising money for technology.
“So far we have raised 55K, which is awesome. The money was used to purchase IPads, Chrome Book Carts and more,” said event co-chair Sara Dullea. “We are grateful to so many wonderful sponsors.”
“Now the schools in Westborough are ‘one-to-one’ technology so all of the students have their own technology to use. This is huge,” said Joe Barca, eighth-grade English teacher at Sarah W. Gibbons Middle School.
The Turkey Trot also helps to promote health and wellness for the Westborough community. Many participants dress in costume and spectators can see families of all ages running together. The teachers from each school who choose to participate engage in a bit of a fun competition and the winners get a healthy breakfast delivered to their school. The Annie E. Fales Elementary School is the defending champion and has won twice before.
The fee to enter is $25 and that includes a t-shirt. The first year there were about 600 runners. Last year there were 700. The run is a 5K where participants can choose to run or walk. There is also a kids’ Fun Run.
“The past few years we have had 100 people register on the day of the race. We are anticipating a great turn out this year,” said Maureen Johnson, Turkey Trot co-chair.
The Student Council at the Gibbons School runs the water station, makes signs and plays the music for this event. Brian Paulhus, the Student Council advisor and eighth-grade civics teacher at Gibbons, has an adjoining room to Barca, both runners. They were chatting about this event and how they could draw a connection between literature and the Turkey Trot.
“This past summer, as a required reading, the students had to read a book titled, ‘The Running Dream’ by Wendolyn Van Draanen. The main character loses a leg in a tragic accident. Our big question was how do we, as people, interact and appreciate others with disabilities. We came up with different ways to approach the assignment and have the students solve real problems,” said Barca.
Some of the projects included researching how people recover from lower leg amputation, creating a movie poster, writing a letter to a disability/amputee group that invites/encourages them to participate in the Turkey Trot, creating an inspirational Nike running commercial to include athletes with disabilities, promoting the Turkey Trot, researching “Team Hoyt” and more.
The Turkey Trot will be held Saturday, Nov. 19, at 9 a.m. for the 5K walk/run beginning and ending at the Westborough High School. The Kids Fun Run will begin at 10 a.m. and is geared for kids aged 3-11.
Founding sponsors at a valedictorian level include TD Bank, Westborough Civic Club and Ball Financial Services; salutatorian sponsors include PR Running, Hannah Kane, ATI Physical Therapy and W.A.S.A. Additional sponsors include Roche Bros., Get in Shape for Women, Tufts Cummings School and Federal Street Capital Partners, Windsor Ridge at Westborough, Westborough Youth Lacrosse, Andrew Abu Realtors, Melfa Wealth Management, Niche Hospitality Group, St. Mary’s Credit Union, Independent Claims Servicing, Central One Credit Union, David French Music, Mathieu Newton Sotheby’s International Realty, Aalanco Service Corp. and Penta Communications.
Anyone wanting additional information can go to www.westboroughturkeytrot.org.