This Thanksgiving, community members trotted toward a healthier holiday by participating in the annual Stevens Point Community Turkey Trot. Organized by the Portage County Can Coalition (PC CAN), over 450 attendees walked or ran the 5K and donated food items on Thanksgiving morning at Pfiffner Park. Participants were encouraged to bring friends, families, pets and gratitude as they walked or ran the non-competitive trot.
One participant during the event wore a sign on her back reading “thankful” and other community members wrote down what they were thankful for on the sign. Participants did not have to pay a fee, but those who registered early had the opportunity to purchase a race t-shirt. A donation of canned food was encouraged to be brought in the place of a registration fee.
In total, over 1300 pounds of food were donated from the event. 60 dollars in monetary donations was also collected in addition to the canned items. This year, all donations were sent to the InterFaith food pantry, which is located in Plover.The total amount of donated food was the third largest donation InterFaith had received this year. This is an improvement from the last Turkey Trot, which saw 360 pounds of food collected for donation.
Kelly Hammond, graduate assistant with PC CAN, said, “Everyone was just happy to participate in a community walk/run and raise awareness for hunger and food insecurity in our county.”
Participants were in light spirits throughout the event. A member of PC CAN even dressed up as a life-size turkey for support.While the event was not competitive and all skill levels were welcome, the first person to finish completed the 5K in 17 minutes. The average group took 25 to 45 minutes to complete the trot.
One participant included Terry Aittama, who walked the 5K with her family. Aittama said it was refreshing to spend the holiday morning keeping active with the community.
“I slogged along with my nephew, who is not a big fan of physical activity, but I’m working on him, and he had fun!” said Aittama.
PC CAN is a non-profit organization that builds networks and resources to foster active living and healthy eating behaviors in Portage County. To become involved in PC CAN the community is welcome to their winter meeting on January 26 at the Ideas Center in Stevens Point. For more information about meeting and event updates, find PC CAN on Facebook or their website, portagecountycan.org.