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South O.C. Turkey Trot Raises Record Breaking $50,000
by: Larry Casner

Thanksgiving means two things: love and feast. In Orange County, one of the best things to do on Thanksgiving morning was to participate the 32nd annual Dana Point Turkey Trot to run or walk along the scenic Dana Point Harbor, while benefitting the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County

Despite the economy, this year about 12,000 people participated, with 780 from Mission Viejo and 220 from Rancho Santa Margarita. Congratulations to all who sacrificed their Thanksgiving morning, so others can eat. The anticipated amount raised is $50,000. This is a record breaking year with over 10% increase in both number of participants and funds raised! In the next few weeks, donations can still be given online at

The Second Harvest Food Bank serves 390 charities that reach the hungry, including church pantries, shelters, senior centers, rehabilitation centers, homes for abused women, children and many other emergency assistance organizations.

Special guests were 2008 Olympic gold medalist Dawn Harper, 2009 World Championship gold medalist Lashinda Demus, 2003 and 2007 World Championship gold medalist Torri Edwards, 2007 PAC 10 champion Craig Everhart, and international renowned fitness expert Kiana Tom, volunteering their time and signing autographs.

The Turkey Trot had several competitions: 10K Open Run, 5K Masters Run (40 and over), 5K Run (39 and under), Kids' Hot to Trot Race (Wave starts: ages 9-12, 6-8, 5 and under), Team Competition, and a Costume Contest. All participants in the Kids' Hot to Trot Race received a medal. And all other categories gave awards to 1st, 2nd and 3rd places.

Make your next Thanksgiving rewarding in more ways than one by entering the Turkey Trot and helping those in need!

Larry Casner is a Southern California native and freelance writer/photojournalist who has traveled extensively. He enjoys sports, art and science.

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