Golden gobblers

Turkey Trot Run for Education raises $31,000 for BCEF

Raising more than $31,000 is no easy task. Those spearheading a recent fundraiser for the Blount County Education Foundation did it one step at a time -- and with a lot of seasonal fun.

The second annual Clayton Homes Turkey Trot Run for Education was held on Sunday, Nov. 21. Runners, walkers, cheerleaders and “gobblers” in the form of trophies filled the campus of Clayton Homes corporate offices for the walk and run.

“We raised about $31,000 for the Blount County Education, and there were 750 total participants between the walk and the run,” said Clayton wellness specialist Megan Duncan.

The band Three Cubicles Down - all of whom are Clayton team members - performed, and the radio station Star 102.1 broadcast from the site. Earth Fare, a health food grocery store, and food vendor Aramark were on hand giving out healthy snacks, Duncan said. “We more than doubled our participation this year compared to last year, and we had a lot more school involvement,” Duncan said.

Schools competed for prizes and trophies based on percentage registered, total number of students with paid registrations and total number of students participating in the run and walk.

“They received a turkey trophy for winning, and that really helped get people out,” Duncan said. “It has become more of a community event, and we had a lot more involvement from the whole community,” she said.

The top three Blount County Schools with the highest percent of participation won additional cash prizes. Taking home honors were Townsend Elementary School, first place; Fairview Elementary School, second place; and Eagleton Elementary School, third place.

Highest percent of participation is determined by comparing a school’s enrollment numbers as of Nov. 1, 2010, with the number of registered and paid entries for that school on race day.

The overall top three schools with the most number of total registered and paid entries were: First place -- Heritage High School; second place -- Porter Elementary School; and third place -- Eagleton Elementary School.

The schools that earned the coveted Turkey Trot Trophy for the most participants were Heritage High School, Heritage Middle School and Eagleton Elementary School.

Money raised at the Turkey Trot Run for Education benefits the foundation’s mini-grant program. Teachers apply for mini-grants to fund projects or cover expenses not covered in the school budget.

Sponsors for Turkey Trot for Education were Clayton Homes, Blount Today, Star 102.1, Staffing Solutions, High Resolutions, Wal-Mart, Hickory Construction, Inc., AT&T, 3CD, Aramark, Chota Outfitters, Ingram, Overholt and Bean, PC, Ruby Tuesday and Vulcan.

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