Fri. Nov 26th, 2021

When Cody Harris was talking with a colleague during last spring’s virtual Sunflower Diversified Services Charity Gala, the idea for a new fundraiser was born.

“When a fellow Sunflower employee asked about the possibility of doing a fun run, I loved the idea,” said Harris, director of planned giving and community support. “This idea developed into what will be our first annual Turkey Trot 5K.”

The event is set for Saturday, Nov. 13, with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m. and the trot starting an hour later.

Proceeds support people with developmental disabilities and delays.

In addition, participants are asked to bring two non-perishable food items for the Barton County Food Bank.

Those who bring food-bank donations will be entered into a drawing for a Garmin Watch donated by Catalyst Therapy and Sports Rehab.

Joiner Construction is co-sponsoring the event with Sunflower.

“We are so grateful to these two local businesses for supporting children and adults with special needs, as well as the food bank,” Harris commented. “Our gratitude goes to a number of other sponsors and Sunflower volunteers too.

“We have always been able to count on central Kansans who give of their time, money and talents.”

The Turkey Trot route starts and ends at Forest and Main in Great Bend. Participants will make their way to Great Bend High School where they will run around the football field and the school on the street. The next destination is Brit Spaugh Park before returning to their downtown starting place.

Signs and volunteers will guide the runners, trotters and walkers along the route.

“They can go at their own speed and be comfortable,” Harris said. “We just want people to come out and have fun while supporting two great causes.”

The fee for anyone who registers by Oct. 31 is $20; the fee after that is $25. A link for registering online can be found on the Sunflower Diversified Services website, sunflowerdiv.com, or its Facebook page.

Age divisions are: up to age 14; 15-24; 25-34; 35-44; 45-54; and 55 plus. The top two places in each division receive medals, while the overall male and female participants each receive a turkey.

Tee shirts are available while supplies last.

“We encourage the community to get a head start on their holiday spirit by participating in this fun event,” Harris said. “It is the season of thankfulness and being kind to others. The people Sunflower serves and the food bank appreciate everyone who participates in any way.”

Sunflower serves infants, toddlers and adults in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties. It is in its 55th year.

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