The cold temperatures early Saturday morning didn’t deter the warmth of over 100 runners and walkers who gathered together for a common purpose — helping children of the Laurel community.

Sally Siler with Bimbo Bakeries USA was the organizer of Saturday’s event, which brought out 117 runners to brave the cold to raise money for The Backpack Club of Laurel County. The Backpack Club supplies school children with non-perishable snacks to ensure the child has some nutritious foods over a weekend. The sacks of snacks are typically sent home with school children across the county on Fridays.

The themed run, held the Saturday before Thanksgiving, brought out a variety of participants. Kelsey Napier donned an orange, yellow and brown skirt atop her sweat pants, coat and toboggan to emphasize the timing of the run. Others wore decorative headpieces with turkeys while one runner wore a turkey outfit.

The route sent runners and walkers from Farmer’s Market along Dixie Street to the Whitley Branch Veterans Park and back along First Street behind the London Police Station and back to Farmers Market.

Corbin resident Connor Messer was the first to complete the run, logging in at 18 minutes and 33 seconds. Messer is a member of the Corbin High School cross country and track team where he has participated for five years.

“I started when I was in the 8th grade,” he said.

He came out Saturday morning for a good cause as well as a goal.

“I came out because of the prize money — $150. I really need it,” he said.

Siler was well pleased with the turnout for the Turkey Trot, stating that the registration fee of $30 per participant was offset by sponsorships from area businesses. As the deadline for registration drew nearer to the run date, the registration fee dropped to $20.

“Bimbo Bakeries USA and First National Bank of Manchester covered the initial costs of the race,” Siler said. “Then we had sponsorships for $50, $100 and $150.”

As the race wound down, Siler said the event had raised nearly $6,300. The check was presented at the conclusion of the race.

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