TROY, N.Y. – Elected officials, event organizers, charities and sponsors gathered in the Troy Atrium to put a bow on the 71st annual Troy Turkey Trot.
A check worth $15,000 stemming from online registration, donations and from the Pioneer Bank Foundation was awarded to the Regional Food Bank of NENY and Joseph’s House and Shelter, Inc.
The 6,425, who braved the elements and record cold, gave $12,531 dollars and Pioneer Bank matched all donations up to $2,500 dollars to the aforementioned charities.
“It’s really a pleasure for us in every way,” Executive Director of the Regional Food Bank of NENY Mark Quandt said of being associated with the Troy Turkey Trot.
“The Turkey Trot brings us money, — thousands of dollars every year — brings us food donations, brings us really [good] attention and publicity all the time because we’re being associated with it and it brings us a good time and I think it connects us to a lot more people,” Quandt noted of the support.
“We’re a private, non-for-profit organization so we depend on private support from the community for us to do our work. It’s donations like this from hundreds, even thousands of runners making small donations, big donations like that that make it possible for us to do our work,” Quant added of the importance of every donation. “Every day we’re our trying to bring in more food donations and then making sure that we get that food out the door to our food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters like Joseph’s House so they can feed hungry people in our community, we do that every single day and we could not do any of that work if we did not have the financial support from the community, so we’re very grateful.”
“It’s fantastic. The cash donations will help us to keep our doors open for anybody who needs it here in Troy and anybody who’s homeless and needs it in Troy. The recognition and awareness of the issue are just as valuable to us and I thank everybody from staff to volunteers and the police department and fire department and everybody that serves that morning,” Executive Director of Joseph’s House Kevin O’Connor added about the donations.
As cold as it was Thanksgiving Day, it’s only going to get colder with the winter approaching,which was a point O’Connor made of how the support will go a long way toward their seasonal initiatives.
“The winter season really stokes up demand for us we’re running our in from the cold program which is a seasonal shelter that’s staffed by volunteers and staff and we also have our code blue program that extends our sheltering by doubling the number of people that stay in our shelter on any given night, so it certainly is a crucial time to get the support,” O’Connor added.
All in all, given the circumstances, Troy Turkey Trot Event Director George Regan seemed pleased at how the race went off and how the community rallied together to support those local charities.
“I think it went well, I really do I think all in all it started tough listening to the forecast and watching those numbers drop. On Monday we were looking for a big registration pickup from Monday through Wednesday and we got a shadow of what the numbers should’ve been so thousands dropped. Then it was like what are we going to do in between that time, what are we going to do about the cold?” Regan said of the logistical concerns.
“So it was ordering all the new equipment the warming tents and the heaters and all that stuff. Going through it to see all of the people that actually came out, I thought it was great, although I have to admit it was cold. I wasn’t worried about it because we’ve been through cold before but I have to tell you we haven’t been through cold like that before, that was cold. A lot of our water froze before we even poured it into our cups it froze and if it fell on the ground, it froze immediately so we had to throw down rock salt at the water stops,” Regan added.
“All in all it went great, we raised more money than ever for our charities. We had happy people, they just enjoyed themselves, you could see it on their face, they felt because they were out on the coldest day ever they felt good about that and you could see that. We had 6,400 people out there so that’s pretty good,” Regan said of a Collar City tradition.