NEWINGTON - Residents in the northwestern corner of town will spend their Thanksgiving morning walking around the neighborhood, no matter the weather.
And it’s not just for fun, because the seventh annual Turkey Trot benefits the town’s Department of Human Services.
The group will convene at Eagle Park at 9 a.m. Thursday with donations of money, nonperishable food and household supplies. Their two-mile walk around the block begins at 9:15.
They’re hoping others who want to brighten the season for less fortunate families will join them this year.
“Most people are from the neighborhood or are friends we know but others have heard about it and they love it and keeping coming back year after year,” said Michelle Saindon, who organizes the annual event. “I just want everybody in town to know they’re invited. It’s a simple, low-key event. The kids play together in the park afterward and have a good time.”
Well over 100 people took part last Thanksgiving. The year before that they walked on a cold, slippery day.
Everyone chips in, making one piece of the planning their own.
“The entire neighborhood helps,” Saindon explained. “All of the kids distribute fliers all through the neighborhood. One person brings a camera, another brings the music and someone will go put out arrows marking the route on the streets.”
Her daughter, Carly, is a senior at Newington High School and a member of the National Honor Society. She and her neighbor Beth Richmond designed the event flier for their National Honor Society project this year.
“I look forward to giving back to the community and seeing my friends and neighbors this Thanksgiving,” Richmond said this week.
Not everybody who makes a donation actually walks that day. Some are unable to walk, and others ride their bikes.
The following week, Saindon and some of the kids will deliver the donations to Town Hall.
“We make sure the kids are part of the giving and the whole process,” she said. “It’s a way to actively be thankful for what we have. Everybody leaves that day feeling good.”
Newington sports teams, Scout troops and teachers have all participated in the past and are welcome again this year. A donation of $20 per family is suggested.
Also happening that day is a ribbon-cutting and grand opening of a new Little Free Library in Eagle Park.
Erica Schmitt can be reached at 860-801-5097, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go:
WHAT: 7th annual Turkey Trot
WHEN: Thanksgiving Day, 9 a.m.
WHERE: Eagle Park (park on Jeffery Ln. or Eagle Dr.)
Suggested donation: $20 per family and new/gently-used kids’ books and/or non-perishable food and supplies