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Giving back with a Turkey Trot and Fun Run

Participants of the BluSeed Ugly Sweater Fun Run break out their holiday best to raise funds for free spring break art classes. (Provided photo — Diane Chase)

I’m already nervous about how my turkey dinner is going to turn out and I don’t even eat turkey. Our family has been focusing on the North Country Ballet Ensemble’s 34th production of The Nutcracker in Plattsburgh and Lake Placid. (Yes, a shameless plug.)

I’ve also got to figure out how to feed family and visitors. What a problem to have. I do know how I’ll feed them. I’ll go to the store, purchase food, and cook it. Simple enough. Since not everyone in our communities can solve their problems with such ease, below are a few fun events that put food in people’s bellies, increase health, and provide opportunities for young people.

There are plenty of other Thanksgiving and Christmas road races around the Adirondack Park and beyond, but the Thanksgiving Trifecta for the Tri-Lakes area is the Adirondack Health 5K, Bitters and Bones 5K and the Erin Dewyea 5K/10K Turkey Trot. All three events take place Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 28. After that, in quick succession, brings a series of fun runs for great causes from the Dec. 7 BluSeed Ugly Sweater 5K II for free student spring break art classes to the Dec.14 Jingle Bell Run for Fit for Life.

This will be the fifth-annual Bitters and Bones Saranac Lake 5K Turkey Trot. Once again, the owners of Bitters and Bones are splitting the proceeds between two worthy nonprofits: The Interfaith Food Pantry and the Saranac Lake Students Needs Fund. All registered adults receive an event T-shirt. Pre-registration is available at AdkTurkeyTrot.com or Thanksgiving day at Bitters and Bones, 65 Broadway, Saranac Lake.

This is the 11th-annual Adirondack Health 5K Walk/Run Turkey Trot benefiting local food pantries and Fit for Life. The 5K starts at 8:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning. Register online at active.com. Registering online guarantees a T-shirt. Keep in mind that children are free (12 and under), no dogs, but strollers are welcome. Please bring three nonperishable food items on race day to benefit local food pantries and receive a $5 registration discount. If you can’t make that Turkey Trot, the annual Lake Placid Holiday Stroll/Adirondack Health Jingle Bell Run takes place Dec. 14. The Jingle Bell Run also benefits Fit for Life. So plan your costume accordingly for a run around Mirror Lake.

In Tupper Lake, organizers are hosting the sixth-annual 5K/10K Erin Farkas Dewyea Turkey Trot Run/Walk to benefit the Erin Farkas Dewyea Scholarship Fund. Both the 5K and 10K have a 9 a.m. start from the Washington Street Park. Online registration can be found at localraces.com and registration packets will be available at the Tupper Lake Train Depot. Walkers and runners are welcome and costumes are encouraged. You do not need to participate in the run to participate in the numerous raffles and pie sale.

Dec. 7 brings the BluSeed Ugly Sweater Fun Run/Walk 5K II. This is the second year for the run with all money from registration fees and donations going to provide all area students with free art classes and workshops over the long two-week spring school holiday. People can register on line at BluSeedStudios.org or the morning of the event. The first 200 people receive a commemorative tile. Prizes are awarded for top three men, top three women, top three students, and ugliest sweater.

However you spend Thanksgiving through Christmas, please be grateful for your full stomach and travel opportunities. It is humbling to think of neighbors going hungry and children having no access to fundamentals. Come join in one of these fun activities and eat that second turkey sandwich without a side of guilt. To find a food pantry near you, check out the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York (regionalfoodbank.net).

Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Time guidebook series. For more family-friendly activities go to AdirondackFamilyTime.com