Thanksgiving Day is kicking off this year with a calorie-burning 5k run through downtown Marion before Thanksgiving meals begin.

Grant County Rescue Mission (GCRM) is holding the Turkey Day 5k Fun Run again this year on Thanksgiving Day from 7 a.m. until 10 a.m. to foster a larger sense of community in Marion.

GCRM director of ministry Ray Rodarte commented about the new and improved 5k run that will be occurring this year.

“We are excited to announce that we are doing it in-person this year. We are going to do everything outside and be conscientious of the pandemic,” said Rodarte. “We have registration pop-ups outside of the YMCA. So, it will be a little different, but it’ll feel very familiar.”

Grant County YMCA (GCYMCA) will be hosting the 5k run again this year, keeping the event local for Marion residents.

“We are passionate about doing anything we can for our community. It was a no-brainer for us when the Grant County Rescue Mission asked us to host,” said GCYMCA senior membership director Libby Root. “We are hopeful that it helps people to understand what can happen when our organizations work together.”

The money raised by this event will be utilized to fund all of the ministries in GCRM. One of the ministries helps provide meals for those in the community. According to Rodarte, GCRM has served almost 50,000 meals this year alone, which has been possible due to events such as the 5k run.

The course will begin at the GCYMCA and will go along the walkway by the bridge on Washington Street to Matter Park and back. GCYMCA appreciates this collaboration with the GCRM because of the location as well as the benefit it gains from working with GCRM.

“We love working with the Rescue Mission. We are so thankful for the work they do in our community,” said Root. “We have so many great things happening downtown, but we’re also close to the mission, so I think that helps too.”

Marion-Grant County Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Kylie Jackson commented about the benefits GCRM has on the community as well as the event in particular.

“The Grant County Rescue Mission serves a really important service in our community, and they help a lot of people through the hardest parts of their lives. Events like the Turkey Run 5k is one of the ways they can accomplish this,” said Jackson. “It’s family fun for everyone.”

Jackson mentioned that anybody can participate in the 5k run regardless of their physical capabilities. Jackson stated that she has attended the event in the past and walked the entire course and had the time of her life with friends, family and other community members.

Registration for the event begins at 7 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, and the event should end before any Thanksgiving festivities begin according to Rodarte.

“We see all these excited people who are thrilled to be out and about – a lot of them dress up in costumes – and it’s a lot of excitement that morning,” said Rodarte. “It’s a great way to start that Thanksgiving morning.”

Interested participants can contact GCRM administrators or attend the event early in the morning to register. Online registration has officially closed.

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