27th annual Turkey Trot benefits GRPS student-athletes

Posted at 6:25 AM, Nov 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-28 09:23:00-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- It’s as much a part of Thanksgiving as turkey and football.  The Grand Rapids Turkey Trot, presented by Blue Care Network of Michigan, is back for its 27th year.

 The Grand Rapids Turkey Trot kicked off at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and is a 5K run/walk that starts and ends at the Van Andel Arena in downtown Grand Rapids. We're told 4,000 racers took part.

Proceeds benefit Kindergarten through 12th grade athletics in the Grand Rapids Public School district and in 2018, a record-breaking amount of more than $87,000 was raised by the nearly 4,000 participants and dozens of sponsors.

These proceeds helped approximately 6,000 students participate in extracurricular activities.

We spoke with a local family of 15 that says it has become a tradition for their family to take part in the race each year.

“It’s remarkable to see the community come together to support Grand Rapids Public Schools and our students,” said Kurt Johnson, GRPS Executive Director of Athletics. “We are overjoyed that each year the event attracts a big crowd and we welcome everyone to join us in supporting a great cause.”

For the sixth consecutive year, Blue Care Network will serve as the presenting sponsor of the Grand Rapids Turkey Trot. “Blue Care Network loves partnering with the Grand Rapids Public Schools to help families get a healthy start to their holiday,” said Jessica Iloff, manager of Community Responsibility at Blue Care Network.  “Each year we are thrilled to see more individuals and families taking time out of their holiday to get active and support a good cause.”

GRPS interim superintendent Dr. Ron Gorman says he and his family plan to lace up their shoes and take part in this fun, holiday event.  “As a runner, I’ve been taking part in this event for many years and can’t wait to take part in this great community event that supports our students.”

The Turkey Trot will start on Fulton Street outside Van Andel Arena and proceed through downtown before finishing inside of the arena.  Children who are 12 or younger can take part in the free 1K Mini-Trot.