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Turkey Trot supports local community

Submitted photos Denise Holbert, Belington Wellness Center manager, presents $2,800 to Belington Presbyterian Church Members Renea Poe and Esther Rhoades.

BELINGTON — Belington area residents broke in their running shoes recently at the eighth-annual Turkey Trot, sponsored by the Belington Wellness Center.

All proceeds are divided between two organizations in Barbour County — the Heart & Hand House and the Belington Presbyterian Church, which feeds around 400 people every Thanksgiving Day. Both Heart & Hand House and the Belington Presbyterian Church received $2,800 from Barbour Community Health Association.

Renea Poe, Belington Presbyterian Church Member and Volunteer commends the efforts of all involved, “The community is so gracious. Many businesses and folks trust us to do this every year. People bring in turkeys and money right up to Thanksgiving Day to show their support.”

The Belington Presbyterian Church has been hosting Thanksgiving Day dinners since 1995, with the help of 20-25 volunteers who deliver and dish out the food.

Marlana Pennington, RN and event organizer for Barbour Community Health Association said it’s hard to believe the Turkey Trot has been going on for eight years.

Marlana Pennington, RN and race director, proudly presents $2,800 to Brenda Hunt, Heart and Hand House executive director.

“One of the things that make it special to me is the cause,” Pennington said. “A lot of times, we forget that there are people in need right in our own community.”

Brenda Hunt, Executive Director for the Heart & Hand House in Philippi, said the Turkey Trot is tremendously helpful for their food pantry.

“This couldn’t come at a better time,” Hunt said. “As we are heading into the Thanksgiving season, we see an increase in the number of families that come to the food pantry. We are so thankful for the support of the clinic, the sponsors and the community.”

Participants came out ready to run or walk and some dressed to impress in costume. This year featured the most runners the event has had with a total of 136 participants, the oldest being Barbara Schonk of Barbour County and the youngest was Acelynn Harris. The top male runner was Adam Mercer and the top female was Magnolia Shifflett.

The Wellness Center had a Facebook contest for a free registration entry, which was won by Hillary Hulver.

Turkey Trot sponsors were: A Touch Better Massage Therapy, American Legion Auxiliary, Dave’s Plumbing and Heating (DPH), Elkins Physical Therapy, Hometown Care, Hometown Pizzeria, Kaiser’s Coffee and Candy, LabCorp, Lake’s Bookkeeping and Taxes, Laurel Mountain Inn, Mace’s Pharmacy, Shop ‘n Save, and Skate Zone.

Pennington says the list of people involved in making the event a success is long indeed. “It’s a big team. We had help from DESNA (Davis and Elkins Student Nurses Association) and ABU PA (Alderson Broaddus University Physician Assistant) students to help ensure the race course was safe. We also want to give special thanks to the other volunteers who graciously showed up to help this year be even more successful: Julie Feather, Lisa Miller, Jill Baker, Sheila Tallman, Pastor Jim Tallman, Joyce Sfmeni, Tony Sfmeni, Esther Rhoades, Cindy Hart of Randolph Co. 911, Belington Police Department, and individuals who made a donation of post-race snacks.”

The Turkey Trot is held on the first Saturday of November each year, making next year’s date Nov. 7.

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