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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Turkey Day fun runs help hungry

Runners and walkers gather annually at Manito Park for one of several Turkey Trots in the area. (File)
Runners and walkers gather annually at Manito Park for one of several Turkey Trots in the area. (File)
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Before filling up on your Thanksgiving feast, head out Thursday morning to burn some calories and help feed the region’s hungry.

Turkey Trots are planned in Spokane, Coeur d’Alene and Cheney, all of them fundraisers for food programs for the needy. All three start at 9 a.m.

For the run at Manito Park, arrive at least 30 minutes early, advises Michael Guilfoil, one of the organizers. The last-minute parking and collecting of donations for Second Harvest can get kind of crazy, he wrote in an email.

Last year the Turkey Trot at Manito brought in about $5,700 for Second Harvest, as well as 4 tons of food.

After the run, the Bloomsday Road Runners Club provides coffee and cider, and hands out several dozen door prizes.

The Cheney High School cross country team uses its Turkey Trot to raise money for the team and the Cheney Food Bank. They’ll also be collecting nonperishable food donations. After the run there will be drawings for turkeys and other prizes, as well as free hot chocolate and coffee.

And in Coeur d’Alene, the Turkey Trot is the CDA Backpack Program’s only fundraiser.

The money raised on Thanksgiving is used to supply food to about 240 kids for winter break, said volunteer Kristin Ludwig. Last year’s event raised about $4,000. The group also supplies weekly packs – created by Second Harvest – to help feed children through the weekend. The packs include nonperishable, child-friendly food like peanut butter, crackers, granola bars and milk.

Ludwig said the Coeur d’Alene Turkey Trot is kid-, stroller- and dog-friendly. Meltz Extreme Grilled Cheese will be supplying breakfast sandwiches and coffee for participants.

“It’s a great way to show our gratitude for what we have and give to people who are a little less fortunate,” Ludwig said.

Kimberly Lusk

Cheney: 2- and 3-mile routes starting at Cheney High School, 460 N. Sixth St. $5. Email jmartin@cheneysd.org for an entry form or visit www.cheneysd.org and search for Turkey Trot.

Coeur d’Alene: 1.5-mile loop starting at Lake City Community Church, 6000 N. Ramsey Road. $5. Visit www.cdabackpackprogram.com for information.

Spokane: 2-, 3- and 5-mile routes starting at Mirror Pond at Manito Park, 1702 S. Grand Blvd. Sponsored by the Bloomsday Road Runners Club. No entry fee; participants must sign a waiver. Animals are not allowed.

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