Trot draws plenty of families.
WEST BOYLSTON - Snow didn't stop the Turkey Trot this year. The fourth-annual Major Edwards Elementary School fitness walk and fundraiser was held successfully this year, after taking a year off due to inclement weather.
The event is a one-mile run or walk that started as a way of introducing healthy habits to the children in Deanna Flibbert's physical education class, while also raising money to extend the rock wall in the school's gymnasium.
"The kids run the mile. The adults can run or walk," Flibbert said. "The nice thing is, they all come together as a community and as a school and they have fun doing it."
There is also a community service aspect to the Trot, since participants are asked to donate items to the West Boylston Food Pantry. This year, that aspect of the event was expanded to a "service-learning opportunity," Principal Marjorie McCarthy said .
In past years, the Turkey Trot was held in conjunction with a half-day at school. This year, because there was no school on the Wednesday prior to Thanksgiving, Flibbert said the event was moved to later in the afternoon.
That timing only lent to the usually excitable atmosphere, with numerous children dancing, playing football and wrestling in preparation for their mile-long run.
"This is the first time it is at night," Flibbert said. "Being under the lights is cool for them."
There is also the health benefits, she noted. The children prepare for the Turkey Trot in gym classes, during which they run two laps, which is half-a-mile.
In regard to the fundraising, Flibbert said she is hoping for an additional 20-feet for the climbing wall. Overall, the school was about $2,500 away from making that happen, she said. And that was before last week's $5 entry fees were counted.
According to the Flibbert, more than 100 families had pre-registered for the event at the Goodale Park track and multi-purpose field. More took advantage of the on-the-field registration just prior to the event.
Don't expect the completion of the wall to be the end of the Turkey Trot, however. Flibbert said she would like to see the annual event continue, possibly as a fundraiser for other school or charitable needs.
"It really is a great event to get everyone together, especially with so many people back (in West Boylston) for the holiday," she said. "We'll find something else to give money to."
PHOTOG: Banner photo/MICHAEL KANE
CUTLINE: Taking part in last week's Turkey Trot are Major Edwards students (from left): Libby Boylston, preschool, Eliana Howland and Regan Atchue, both grade 4, and Ella Fay and Elisia Spiridigliozzi, both grade 3.