Students raise money, collect food for food pantries
William Borcy, 15, was the first to cross the finish line during a two-mile "Turkey Trot" fun run at Greenfield High School Wednesday morning. (Recorder/Chris Shores)
About 300 students at Greenfield High School and 8th Grade Academy participated in a two-mile "Turkey Trot" fun run Wednesday morning to collect food and money for the Greenfield food pantry, the Center for Self-Reliance. (Recorder/Chris Shores)
Bernardston Elementary School Principal Robert Clancy was all smiles Wednesday as Jen Comiskey's fourth-grade class toes the starting line at the third-annual Turkey Trot race.
Hundreds of students from Greenfield and Bernardston took to the streets as part of “Turkey Trot” events to collect food and cash donations for local food pantries.
About 300 students ran or walked through the streets of town Wednesday morning at Greenfield High School’s two-mile “Turkey Trot” fun run — an event that collected $126.50 and 82 nonperishable food items for Greenfield’s Center for Self-Reliance.
Participants were asked to bring in money or two cans of nonperishable food items, said 8th Grade Team Leader Kerry Heathwaite.
She said that the faculty, many of whom are runners themselves, created the event this year as a way to give back to the community.
With Greenfield police officers helping with traffic control, the pack of runners and walkers left from the high school around 9 a.m. They crossed Silver Street and ran up Summer Street.
Then, they completed the loop by running on Oakland Street, Cherry Street and briefly on Routes 5 and 10, before connecting back with Summer via Ferrante Avenue.
Although times were not recorded, they were announced out loud as runners crossed the finish line.
William Borcy, a 15-year-old sophomore and member of the school’s cross country and track teams, was the first to finish with a time of 10:39.
“It was really fun ... (and) very flat,” said Borcy. “Our (cross country) course is hilly, so I was kind of like, ‘Oh gosh, it’s so flat. Where’s the uphill?’”
Heathwaite is hoping that the event will become an annual occurrence, and that even more students will participate next year.
The run was followed by the school’s annual pep rally — where grades compete against one another in a series of competitions. The seniors dominated the competition this year, said Heathwaite.
Nearly 300 elementary school students ran in the third-annual event at Bernardston Elementary School.
Though the BES and Warwick Community School students collectively burned thousands of calories in the short race, they saved plenty of nutritious food to donate to those in need.
Each kid brought a canned good as a registration fee, during a three-week food drive before the race. The food will be donated to the United ARC of Franklin and Hampshire counties.
“It was a lot of fun,” said BES fourth-grader Liam Bradley-Curtis, 9, who was first across the finish line.
“Except for the whole running part,” chimed his classmate, Lucas Kelton, 9, who came in second.
Older students ran about a mile-long loop, while the little ones turkey trotted down short School Road and back Wednesday, their parents holding handmade signs all along the route.
The race was the culmination of a cross-country running unit in the students’ gym class.
The Pioneer Valley Regional School cross-country team was on-hand to help. Their enthusiasm had the kids going strong from the pre-race warmup until the last kid crossed the finish line, the team cheering him on the whole way.
“They’re a great group,” said Sue Scott, physical education teacher for the two elementary schools. “The kids think it’s great.”
Besides some much-appreciated help on race day, Scott said the team provided a good example to the elementary students.