Hot to (Turkey) Trot

STAR Charities Sets the Pace in Helping Feed Local Families in Need

Article by Stephen Neilson

Photography by Stephen Neilson

Originally published in SW Lake Lifestyle

Each November brings the opportunity for special moments with family and friends as we sprint headlong into the holidays. A newer tradition gaining tremendous traction is incorporating a “Turkey Trot” into Thanksgiving Day; it’s a great fit, blending in a family-friendly, healthy run-or-walk event to help absolve all guilt from the full-on feast that frequently follows at home amidst the scrum of football games, the AKC National Dog Show and the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The largest Turkey Trot in the area fires its starting cannon at 9 a.m. November 23 at Main Street Center in Wauconda, sponsored by STAR Charities in support of the Wauconda/Island Lake Food Pantry. STAR was founded by Progressive Components, a global supplier to the tooling and molding industry based in Wauconda’s Business Park, owned by Don and Glenn Starkey. This year marks STAR's 20th anniversary as a certified 501(c)(3) organization. Over that span more than one million dollars has been raised to support local charities, including over $150,000 for the Wauconda/Island Lake Food Pantry focused on feeding local families in need. 

Trista Iodice, Director of STAR Charities, describes the organization’s goal concisely and with conviction. “STAR stands for ‘Sharing Time and Resources’, which is exactly what we do. We’re an entirely volunteer-run organization that helps other volunteer organizations fulfill their purpose and their mission.” In the last year alone, STAR has supported causes including the Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation, Nicasa Behavioral Health Services, Amina Grace Memorial Fund promoting acceptance of people with Down syndrome, the 4North Project, Keeping Families Covered, Lake County Haven, Alec Harju Brain Tumor & Stroke Survivor Fund, Cotton Creek School Supply drive, Jeeps on the Run, and more. Special fundraising events beyond the Turkey Trot this year include the 11th Annual Wauconda Coat Drive and the Easter-week Bunny Hop race, among others. 

The 13th Annual Wauconda Turkey Trot offers a 4-mile chip-timed run around Bangs Lake or a 2-mile fun run/walk down Main Street. Get your running gear on, or some silly/fun turkey attire, and enjoy some great exercise on Thanksgiving morning. Registered participants receive T-shirts, finisher's medals and snacks after the race, with trophies awarded to the fastest 4-mile runners in each age category, as well as awards for "Most Turkey Trot Spirit" and "Best Costume”. 

Web-search “Wauconda Turkey Trot 2023” or scan the QR code to quickly find the link to register on RaceRoster.com, including registration fees and additional race details.

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