“Last year, we had 266 people participating and we’re already at 200 pre-registered this year. So we’re anticipating it to be a much bigger race this year,” Morehouse said. “... For me, on a personal level, it’s a great way to get excited about Thanksgiving. It’s always the Saturday morning before Thanksgiving.
“It’s such a family event. You can bring a baby in a stroller and just walk it if you want to. So it’s a great way to get in the mood for the holidays and for Thanksgiving and to support a nonprofit. It’s for all ages. We give frozen turkeys for every age group. So if you’re 10 and you win your age group, you get a frozen turkey and that’s cool for someone who’s 10, plus they get a little certificate.”
Set for Nov. 23 at 9 a.m., the Turkey Trot 5K starts and finishes at the Cartersville Soccer Complex, behind Cartersville Middle School, at 152 Milner Road in Cartersville. Race-day registration begins at 8 a.m. Entrance fees for the rain-or-shine event are $25 per person. To honor their achievements, the top overall male and female finishers will receive trophies and the winners of each age group will be presented with a frozen turkey.
“The Turkey Trot 5K has been in existence since 2006,” said John Cremers, Improvement Facilitator in Gerdau’s Rolling Mill. “I was fortunate to be involved from the first year and my wife and I have helped with tracking race times and coordinating T-shirts. We have touched some aspect of the race every year.
“As a company, Gerdau is committed to its employee wellness program. Their sponsorship of the race has the double benefit, and has impacted the community greatly. Additionally, employees get the opportunity to participate in the Turkey Trot and it encourages them to be engaged in active and healthy lifestyles.”
As a special event, proceeds from the Turkey Trot will go toward United Way’s Give Where You Live 2013 campaign, which is aiming to raise $510,000 for the organization’s partner agencies. Continuing through Nov. 30, the drive primarily is generating funds through payroll deductions, which enables employees to donate a minimal amount yearlong, with a portion of their paycheck designated to the local United Way.
Funds raised through the campaign will be dispersed, based on need, to United Way’s 16 agencies: AIDS Alliance of Northwest Georgia, Good Neighbor Homeless Shelter, Bartow County 4-H Club, Boys & Girls Clubs of Bartow County, Bartow Civil Air Patrol, American Red Cross, Christian League for Battered Women, New Beginnings Food Outreach, The Salvation Army, Good Shepherd Foundation, Bartow Area Habitat for Humanity, Hickory Log Vocational School, North Bartow Community Services, Bartow Health Access, Girl Scouts Division of Bartow County and Advocates for Children. Combined, the nonprofits serve about 60,000 people each year.
“All of the proceeds [from the Turkey Trot] go to United Way and its 16 partner agencies. So the money raised will go into the distribution of all the funds that help with all of their programs,” Morehouse said, adding last year’s Turkey Trot generated $5,780. “... [As far as this year’s campaign], we are finding that the community is rallying behind us.
“We’re real excited. We’ve done real well with all of our campaigns that we have had. We still have lots of small campaigns to tie up, but we’ve secured 80 percent of our goal of $510,000 and a good contribution of that is from some of our major campaigns, like our Shaw campaign and Publix and Anheuser-Busch. And then we’ve, of course, done a lot of small campaigns around town.”
For more information about the United Way, call 770-386-1677 or visit www.bartowliveunited.org. Participants also can sign up today for the Turkey Trot 5K online by visiting http://beta.active.com/cartersville-ga/running/turkey-trot-5k-2013.