The Coast News Group
Encinitas Turkey Trot & Food Drive runners begin the 10k race in 2016. Photo by Bill Reilly

Encinitas Turkey Trot continues to grow

ENCINITAS — With each year, the Encinitas Turkey Trot & Food Drive has grown — in number of  racers and total philanthropy.

This year, the race’s fourth installation, the organizers have chosen the Community Resource Center as the primary recipient of this year’s philanthropy. Two dollars per every runner will be donated to the nonprofit charged with eliminating homelessness and protecting victims of domestic violence.

“As we have kind of grown with the new city council, since Catherine (Blakespear) has become mayor, we are keeping all of our donations in Encinitas, which makes sense,” race organizer Steve Lebherz said. “CRC was kind of an obvious selection for the bulk of our giving, mostly because they do so much good in the community.”

The $2-per-entrant represents half of the $4 Lebherz agreed to donate out of the race proceeds to local philanthropic efforts as part of a memorandum of understanding with the city.

In addition, organizers are continuing a tradition they started last year donating 50 “Thanksgiving Meals in a Basket” to military families through the Encinitas American Legion No. 416. The baskets provide the side dishes for a Thanksgiving meal for a family of five, and the basket includes a $35 gift card with which the family can purchase a turkey or a fresh pie.

“We used to accept food donations, but Thanksgiving is over by the time you get the food,” Lebherz said. “So we are taking a little more of a proactive approach, and plus, money goes so much further than hard goods.”

The Community Resource Center’s programs include a food and nutrition center, domestic violence prevention and intervention and homelessness assistance, said Lauren Montague, a spokesperson for the nonprofit organization.

Registration is open for the Nov. 25 event, and costs $46 for the 5K race and $56 for the 10K race. Each participant receives a soft cotton T-shirt and finisher’s medal. Water stations are provided throughout the course.

The 10K race start is 7:30 a.m., while the 5K and Costume Division race start is 8 a.m. Welcome and introductions take place at 7 a.m. with awards ceremony at 9:30 a.m.

A $5 convenience fee will be charged for packet pickup at day of the event.