Fort Worth YMCA Turkey Trot Celebrates 40th Anniversary – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

While North Texans woke up early to get started with the turkey, thousands of others laced up their sneakers for a big run.

NBC 5 is a proud media sponsor of the 40th annual Fort Worth YMCA Turkey Trot race.

For the first time in two years, families gathered Thursday morning for a 40-year-old Thanksgiving tradition. The event was completely virtual last year due to COVID-19.

Former Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price has attended 39 of these years. The one year she took time off was due to the birth of her child.

“For me, it’s really tradition,” she said. “It’s always fun to see family and friends here. I’ve seen friends have kids, and now their kids have kids, you see a different set of strollers every year, people with their dogs.”

Price was one of 10 inducted into the all-new Hall of Fame, which includes individuals or organizations that have supported the Fort Worth YMCA Trot over the years.

The first Turkey trot ever started back in 1981 with only 200 runners. This year’s come back as the pandemic has been huge despite the cold and windy weather.

From babies in strollers to people all the way down to the age of 92, around 7,500 have signed up to participate in 10K, 5K and 1K runs. At least 37 states, Canada, Uganda and 467 zip codes were represented. Many more could also participate virtually.

“It’s so exciting to come out here and go with 2,000 of your closest friends,” said Leslie Dell, who has participated in Turkey Trot every year for the past 15 years.

Each year, Turkey Trot serves as the largest fundraiser for the Fort Worth YMCA, helping the organization continue important programs that help local families in need.

“We raise about $ 1.5 million a year in our annual campaign to fund scholarship programs throughout the greater Fort Worth area,” said Mike Brown, CEO of the Fort Worth YMCA. “This will generate a little over $ 150,000 in scholarships to help fund the YMCA. It’s a big event for us.”

The YMCA’s efforts include benefits for important child care, drowning prevention and water safety, youth sports, health programs, summer camps, senior engagement, food insecurity and more.

“I go to Y downtown two or three days a week and I see young mothers come in and bring their babies in for child care,” Price said. “They would not have anywhere else to go if it were not for the Y’s because it is a program partially signed by the people who come to Turkey Trot.”

Tarrant County leads the state in the number of drowned, and it really covers all ages and races. The YMCA has worked to address these challenges in partnership with the Fort Worth Drowning Prevention Coalition.

To learn more about YMCA programming, click here.

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