Kearney Family YMCA host annual Turkey Trot

Local4 News at 5
Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 11:43 PM CST
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - The Strong Families Campaign helps those families that may or may not be able to afford a regular membership to the Kearney Family YMCA, and organizers said they want everybody to be a member at the Y. On Thursday, people ran...and ran with that in mind.

The Y held its 20th-annual Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, with all the money raised going straight to fund those families memberships.

The Kearney Area Family YMCA held both a 5 and 2-mile race as well as a ‘Gobble Wobble’ race for the kids. This year’s event also crowned a pet champion. First place winners took home a turkey.

The benefits also go beyond just helping a family have a place to be active. The biggest benefit it has goes far beyond just a family’s membership.

“The families say ‘thank you my child would not have be able to play flag football or volleyball without this assistance’,” said Race Director, Laura Aden. “We definitely have families that come and thank us. Swimming lessons, youth sports, creative art - really you can get a discount toward any of the YMCA events.”

The holidays are a good time to bring people in because it usually brings out the best in others. It is also a great time to galvanize the community.

“Anytime holidays are around is a good time for people to meet and to get together,” said race director Hallie Ganz. “Just whenever you can do something together it feels more powerful than just doing something individually, so you just see a lot of families coming out, supporting one another - everyone’s in great mood.”

With the event attracting close to 100 people every year, organizers have called the ‘Turkey Trot’ a Kearney tradition, as participants and their pets have become regulars at the event.

“I think how it benefits the community is that it’s a way for everyone to get together on Thanksgiving Day,” said Aden. “This is an annual event. We have families and people from all over the country who show up to run this race. We’ve had people who have done it for 20 years in a row. I think that’s a huge benefit to our community that we have an event like this that everyone come together every year.”