In 2009 I started a new Thanksgiving tradition, the Turkey Trot. For the past 4 years I’ve put the bird in the oven, strapped on shoes and headed out to a local 5k.
The first year we attempted to bring the whole family but it was a bit of a disaster. It’s cold, sometimes rainy, and it’s hard to entertain young kids at a running event even when they are walking with Dad and Grandma. I felt guilty dragging the whole family to something I wanted to do so we stopped bringing the kids and Mom and I would just go. I’d run the 5k and she’d walk the 2k.
This is Mom and my friend Michelle after completing the walk last year.
It’s been a great tradition but I want to involve more of the family and make it easier for everyone to participate.
That’s when the idea hit me to host a virtual Turkey Trot to not only get my family out and about on Thanksgiving morning but to hopefully inspire you to as well!
As I was bouncing around a few ideas on how to host the virtual 5k, my mom called to tell me Judy’s application to 4 Paws For Ability was accepted and she committed to raising $13,000 for the organization so Judy can receive a trained service dog.
If I haven’t expressed in writing how much I admire my mom it’s only because words really can’t capture how I feel. She is the strongest, most selfless, human being I have ever known. She raised my brother and me alone all whole working full time and going to school to be a nurse. I am everything I am because of her and her perseverance.
Now she is raising my niece, Judy, as her own.
Judy was born December 2003. My brother and his girlfriend were not prepared to be parents. There’s no need for me to bring up lots of family dirt and drama, so let’s just say Mom fought and won custody of Judy at a very young age. For the past 10 years her and my stepfather selflessly brought Judy into their home and are raising her as their own.
This would be no small task even if Judy was an average, healthy child. She is not.
Judy’s official diagnoses are autism, epilepsy, cystic fibrosis, developmental delays — including speech, gross and fine motor skills — Duane’s syndrome in her right eye, bilateral club foot, and attention deficit disorder.
My mom has made so many sacrifices not only to raise me, but now Judy.
Now I have tears streaming down myself. Let me get to the details before I short circuit my computer.
I am hosting my first Virtual Turkey Trot 5k in honor of my Mom and Judy.
Our goal is to raise $13,000 and get Judy a service dog from 4 Paws.
4 Paws is a 501 (c) 3 charitable organization that trains service dogs to work with disabled and special-needs kids in incredibly innovative ways. 4 Paws tailors the training of the dog to the needs of the kids and families they serve. Judy’s service dog will be trained to aide in behavior disruption, tethering, tracking and scent/seizure work.
1. Click here and make a donation to Judy’s 4 Paws For Ability campaign. We are asking for a minimum of $25 to participate. Listen, money’s tight. I get it. If you can’t donate I totally understand, please still run with us!
2. Spread the word by sharing this badge and the link to this page on your blog or social media account.
3. Run, trot or walk 5k on Thanksgiving Day alone or preferably with your family! That’s it! Although I’d love for you to reach out to me on Twitter and Facebook with a “Hey, I did it!” message. Maybe even snap a photo on Instagram? I meant what I said on the #WYCWYC post, inspiration is contagious. The more of us who do it and share that we are doing it, the more people will join in.
Side Note: If you need help figuring out 5k try MapMyRun where you can create a route in your area.
Oh! I almost forgot the prizes!
Make a minimum donation of $50 and be entered to win 1 of 10 fun prizes!
I reached out to two of my favorite brands, Mini Babybel® and Vitalicious and both agreed to donate products for my first ever Virtual Turkey Trot. By making at least a $50 donation you will automatically be entered in the random drawing. Just be sure not to make your donation anonymously or I won’t be able to find you!
Vitalicious is donating 5 cases!
Vitalicious has been a huge supporter of my blog for years and when I asked them if they would like to participate in this fundraiser they agreed without hesitation. I really can’t thank them enough. Don’t forget if you order Vitalicious products online use my coupon code (RONISWEIGH) for 10% off!
I also reached out to Mini Babybel, which I’ve been working with for 3 years now. They, too, supported this effort without question. I’m so blessed to work with amazing brands! Mini Babybel is donating three prize packs that will include NEW Mini Babybel Mozzarella style, Light, Original and White Cheddar. I also can’t thank them enough!
Finally, my company will be donating 2 Kindle Fire HDX 7″, HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB. The one with the camera, ’cause that’s the one I want. :)
If you didn’t know, I started SkinnyMinnyMedia in 2008 to house all of my crazy online ventures. And yes, it still feels weird to be a business owner.
Thank so much for any support you can give me with this campaign, even if you just share the link on Facebook, you are helping more than you realize and I appreciate it.
Now… start training. We’ve got a month!