Thanksgiving Turkey Trot to benefit PTA


Members of the school’s PTA will be working off their Thanksgiving meals by volunteering or racing in Space Coast Turkey Trot 5K and 10K that begins at the Front Street Civic Center on Thursday at 7:30 a.m. Proceeds from the race will benefit the school’s clubs, organizations, teacher requests and school improvement projects.

“It’s a super-fun event,” PTA President Dianna Hetzel said. “It’s fun to run in and it’s fun to volunteer for. It’s a great course and it’s a great way to start your Thanksgiving morning. Everyone’s always in a great mood from the people racing to the volunteers to the race staff. It’s just a really great atmosphere.”

In addition to being fun, the event also costs West Shore nothing. It will, however, cost 5K and 10K participants a signup fee of $3 and a race fee of $20 for adults and $15 for ages 12 and under for the 5K and a race fee of $25 for the 10K.

“That’s what’s so awesome about this event,” Hetzel said. “This fund-raising effort costs us nothing but has the potential to earn us big money.”

For instance, this is the PTA’s second year as beneficiary and because last year, they received $4,000 from the Running Zone Foundation, they seem to be determined to reach higher fund goals because this year’s race is on track to surpass last year’s registered runners which was just over 1,400.

“West Shore students, parents, faculty and staff should register to either run or volunteer at the Space Coast Turkey Trot 5K and 10K due to West Shore PTA is the beneficiary of the race,” Anne Mitchell, PTA Turkey Trot Committee Chair said. “The more registered runners the more money that the PTA may potentially receive as the beneficiary.”

Almost 100 West Shore students and parents have signed up so far to volunteer, but Hetzel seems determined to add to that number.

“Race beneficiary is a very sought-after honor and without enough volunteers, we could lose that honor,” she said.

On the other hand, she encourages those not interested in volunteering to race.

“This is one of those perfect events that helps fund the PTA budget as well as providing West Shore students and families a healthy fun way to interact with the larger community,” she said.

Many participant perks are included in the cost, such as an appearance by Mr. Gobbles (a turkey mascot), prizes for the best Thanksgiving themed costume contest winners, a new race participant T-shirt, $125 Publix gift card for the winner of the Largest Family Challenge, the Pumpkin Pie Challenge which the Running Zone gives out 300 Pumpkin Pies to runners based on gun times (5K: anyone under 28 minutes or 10K: anyone under 50 minutes) or until all pies are gone, a light breakfast after the race provided by Bagel World, stuffed turkey awards and beautiful courses right on the Indian River.

“The Space Coast Turkey Trot 5K and 10K is an awesome family friendly event that everyone can participate in,” Mitchell said. “I’m glad that this annual tradition to have the Space Coast Turkey Trot 5K and 10K is early Thanksgiving morning. This allows people to have a fun family tradition, to get their exercise in early and get home before the end of the Thanksgiving Day Macy’s parade is over, eating Thanksgiving meal and watching football or early Black Friday shopping.”

For more information on Space Coast Turkey Trot 5K and 10K or to signup go to Registration ends Nov.  19 at 11:59 p.m. 

By Sierra Vehec