The City of Powell starts off the holiday festivities with its traditional Thanksgiving Day race, the Powell Turkey Trot.
The Powell Turkey Trot was established in 2014 by Jared Mills, Liberty High School’s cross country coach; Matthew Czarnecki, owner of Race Penguin LLC; and Stephanie Czarnecki. They wanted to bring a local turkey trot to Powell on one of biggest and most popular running days of the year.
“The main purpose of this event is to build community while promoting health and fitness in a family-friendly environment,” said Stephanie Czarnecki, the race director.
The Powell Turkey Trot consists of a four-mile long race beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, which is Nov. 23 this year. The race will be run along a tree-lined course in downtown Powell.
Starting at 8 a.m., there will be a special Wobble ‘Till You Gobble Kids Fun Run for children age 10 and younger. This 0.25-mile course will be set up at Village Green Park where spectators will be able to watch and cheer alongside the young participants.
With the funds received from the race registration fees, the Powell Turkey Trot will give back to the community in numerous ways. Organizers said they will donate money to A Kid Again of Central Ohio and will also support the Olentangy Elementary School art program.
“We truly appreciate what they are trying to do in terms of donating to our organization,” said Chris Elliott, executive director of A Kid Again of Central Ohio.
The A Kid Again organization hosts events for children suffering from life-threatening illnesses in order to give them and their families happiness and positive memories. The organization takes the kids on numerous adventures, such as trips to Cedar Point, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, or a Cincinnati Reds baseball game, among other places.
“We want to get the families out of the hospital and have them forget about being sick, forget about medical costs,” Elliott said. “Have them be a kid again for one day.”
Along with financial donations, there will also be a book drive during the Powell Turkey Trot. The books collected will be donated to Books for Bedtime, a nonprofit organization that provides books for children in need.
In the past, the Powell Turkey Trot has worked with numerous organizations such as the Fallen15, Imagination Library of Delaware County, and the Delaware County Hunger Alliance.
“We research and read about local charities that we would like to bring awareness and donate money to,” Czarnecki explained. “We then set up a time to meet with the organization to learn more about them and begin a partnership.”
In its short history, Czarnecki said, the Powell Turkey Trot has become an annual tradition embraced by local residents.
“The Powell community has shown a tremendous amount of support and enthusiasm for this event,” Czarnecki said.
One of the highlights of the event occurs at the end of the races when participants receive medals that students from Olentangy’s Liberty Tree Elementary School have designed.
“We love looking at his/her work and appreciate the time Ohio’s Teacher of the Year, Mr. J [Jonathan Juravich] spends to facilitate turning his/her work into our awards,” Czarnecki said. “I love getting emails from proud parents telling me that their child excitedly talked about their art assignment and asking if they could have an extra award to send to a grandparent.”
For information about the Powell Turkey Trot, visit the event website, http://www.powellturkeytrot.com/.
Saideepika Rayala is an intern for The Delaware Gazette. She is a student at Olentangy Liberty High School.