Thousands Raise Money for Horizons in 20th Annual Turkey Trot

By Nadia Crow, Reporter

Jordan Hondeshell, 18, of Marion, sets off on his handcycle during the 8K race for the Return of the Turkey Trot 2012 near Marion High School, Saturday morning, Nov. 10, 2012. Proceeds from the Turkey Trot goes to Horizons, a local nonprofit. (Karuna Ang/The Gazette-KCRG)


By Ellen Kurt

MARION, Iowa - Two thousand people strapped up their running shoes to help raise money for an Eastern Iowa non-profit organization. Each year, the First United Methodist Church of Marion organizes a run for a good cause.

Some took off with speed while others paced their way throughout the morning. Some ran alone and others in a group.

"We have a running club at our school,” Kaden Walker, Turkey Trot participant, said.

People of all ages participated in the weekend run to give back to a community organization.

"It was easy at first, but then it was hard,” Kaden Walker, 8, said.

"I believe in a good cause and helping people with disabilities, like I have a disability myself,” Chris Puffer, Turkey Trot runner, said.

Nearly all of the proceeds from these runners will go to Horizons who sponsors Meals on Wheels, credit counseling, and family outreach services.

"They helped us with a summer meal program so we were able to provide many of these same children with free lunches all summer long,” Oakhill Jackson Resource Coordinator Dawn Stephens said.

The Oakhill Jackson Community Center kids and staff ran to say thank you to the organization that helped keep their bellies full. But it took some planning.

"We've been working on this three days a week for several weeks,” Stephens said.

Many searched to find their name on the long list of runners. But for many, it wasn’t about how fast they ran but finishing to help families in need.

"Everyone that's here from our group today and probably from throughout the race has really learned a valuable lesson about starting a task and finishing it,” Stephens said.

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