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Running for a reason

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Harrisburg residents help make wishes come true at Turkey Trot

By Christie Barlow
[email protected]
“For those who are running, run like you’ve never run; for those who are walking, walk like you’ve never walked. Have a blast,” Kitsie Goers told participants in the Bradford Park Turkey Trot.

Residents crowded into the streets of Bradford Park on Saturday. 

As the national anthem was sung and the flag was waved, a shout of “ready, set, go” rang out, and dozens of residents took off running.

The Harrisburg community of Bradford Park held its first annual Turkey Trot on Saturday. About 120 residents ran, walked and wheeled their way through the neighborhood to participate in the 5k.

“People walk it, run it, do whatever they want,” said Joel Nachman, who helped organize the event. “We figured an hour and a half to get done.”

Residents weren’t just out for a day of fun in the neighborhood, although both male and female winners of the race received a frozen turkey in honor of their accomplishment. 

What started off as a day of fun was really about a day of fundraising.

When the idea for the race was first proposed, organizers wanted to bring the community together for a good time. Before they were really into planning the event, they made the decision to incorporate a fundraiser into their plans.

Participants were charged a fee to register for the race, and were asked to make any additional donation of both money and food. 

All the funds went to benefit the Make A Wish Foundation, while any food collected went to the Second Harvest Food Bank.

Emily Riley of the Make A Wish Foundation was on hand at the race to accept Bradford Park’s donation.

In total, the community managed to raise $3,200 for the charity. Riley said the money collected by Bradford Park will essentially be put right back into Cabarrus County. On average, Make A Wish Foundation grants six to nine wishes within Cabarrus County each year.

The average cost of a wish today is about $6,000, Riley said. She said the contribution from Bradford Park was wonderful and that the Foundation relies on donations to function.

“We always look at it as every little bit helps,” Riley said. “A lot of (organizations) are like ’we’re only going to give $500,’ but that’s $500 closer to granting a wish. If we get 70 people to participate and do things like this we’re going to be able to grant a lot of wishes.”

Nachman and Goers were extremely pleased with the turnout and support they saw from the community. When they first started the idea they didn’t realize what a big undertaking it would be. But, after seeing the results, it was well worth the work, Nachman said.

“I think everybody just feels a feeling of helping and giving back,” Nachman said. “We’re doing this for fun, and it’s a lot of fun. But the main thing is a lot of us feel we’ve accomplished it to raise money for Make A Wish Foundation.”

• Contact Christie Barlow at [email protected] or 704-789-9140.


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