Thousands show up for Thanksgiving fund-raiser at Columbia Park

Thousands show up for Thanksgiving fund-raiser at Columbia Park

KENNEWICK, Wash. The Gesa Credit Union 2017 Turkey Trot on Thursday was both fun-run and fund-raiser.

Registration cost each entrant around $25, and organizers told Action News today's runners definitely did some good.

More than four thousand people registered to burn off a few calories before their Thanksgiving feast.

Jennifer Mendez said the crowd felt huge,

"I think it's one of the best attended runs I've attended in the Tri-Cities."

She said she brought her family to get in a little exercise and support the American Red Cross,

"It's a good time to come when everybody's in town and hang out together."

Runners registered for either a 5k or mile run and started their morning with a festive warm-up dance.

Jennifer's sister-in-law, Adriana Mendez, won an award for her costume but said she almost didn't come,

"My family registered and I was just kind of brought along. And they bought the costume, and they asked me to wear it."

She and a friend dressed as human-sized turkeys and learned about the victory, plus the huge pumpkin pie that came as a prize, before she'd even crossed the finish line,

"Everyone was really excited to see us, as we were running they'd say, 'Look at the turkeys!'"

Blanche Barajas of Pasco ran with a group from her gym as the finale to a 6-week challenge.

She said they found sponsors for the group,

"What we raised, we raised money throughout the six weeks and adopted 5 families."

Barajas said they donated Thanksgiving dinner to those families and that, combined with the friends she made on the fun-run, made the early hour worth it,

"It feels great to get out of bed that early, but its for a good cause."

Adriana agreed, she said was glad to be there, though the victory pie made her day even sweeter,

"It's a great way to spend Thanksgiving with the family. It's a great way to be active on a holiday that's notorious for eating a ton of food."

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