2016 Middle School Turkey Trot Raises $14,000 for Harvest Hope

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The 13th Annual Heathwood Hall MS TURKEY TROT was another amazing event.  This year’s theme was “Keep Calm and GIVE THANKS." 

The MS TURKEY TROT took place on the crisp morning of Tuesday, November 22, and it was the culmination of a series of events that provided our students in grades 5-8 with an opportunity to participate in a true service learning project that connects to our school mission and stewardship to others.  The MS TURKEY TROT took into account the developmental needs of all middle school students while instilling in them the desire to lead, serve, and give.

Over the course of the first semester, each grade in the Middle School participated in our annual Harvest Hope Food Drive that collected nearly 3,800 pounds of food.  Students in each grade took a field trip to Harvest Hope Food Bank.  The students saw firsthand how Harvest Hope works.  The students toured the entire facility, met volunteers, witnessed the process of collecting, sorting, storing, and distributing of food.  These field trips helped our students better understand the hunger issues facing many fellow citizens of South Carolina and what Harvest Hope Food Bank is doing to help combat hunger in our state.  

The 13th Annual Heathwood Hall MS TURKEY TROT went very well.  The day was simply beautiful. We first met in the Dining Commons for two wonderful research presentations on hunger and homelessness crafted by the MS Leadership Council.  While on the track, students, faculty, staff, and parents walked, ran, skipped, and danced.  As the trotters were trotting, a DJ played high-energy music that amplified the enthusiasm of the TURKEY TROT.  The community-building was joyous as everyone, including Cool Can Sam, enjoyed the Heathwood spirit of giving.  After lunch, which was donated by Breakers at Five Points, students enjoyed Fall Fun Day.  Students rotated through four different 25-minute activities: stickball, capture the flag, kickball, and dodgeball.  

We surpassed our goal of $13,000 for Harvest Hope Food Bank…WHOO!   The MS was able to raise $14,000 for Harvest Hope.  This tremendous donation translates into 70,000 meals for Harvest Hope at a time of great need in the community.  The TURKEY TROT is an ideal service learning opportunity, because it allows students to be involved, to get enthusiastic, and to be social in a safe environment while being productive.  The students love the chance to work at a common goal with friends and enjoy the positive competition. Therefore, over the last thirteen years, the Heathwood MS TURKEY TROT has generated a grand total of over $145,000 to Harvest Hope Food Bank.  Our MS Leadership Council went downtown to present this year’s check to Harvest Hope Food Bank during the WACH57 Share Your Holiday Event, Thursday, December 1.

Thank you to everyone who helped out in support of this service learning experience for our students and our division.  Thank you to everyone who donated dollars and gathered money for those in need in Columbia and to support Harvest Hope Food Bank.  Kudos to Chef Jim McMahon and FLIK for donating snacks and fruit for the 13th Annual MS TURKEY TROT.  Special thanks to Mrs. Bonnie Bruner for her calculating skills! Thanks to our MS HPA volunteers and faculty members who gave students the Harvest Hope green stickers.  Special thanks to our corporate sponsors: Breakers at Five Points (Mr. Bradley Morgan); Groucho’s of West Columbia (the Rosenbaum family); Columbia Eye Clinic (the Barker family); Gene Morris Produce Company (the Russell Morris family); Cool Care Heating & Air (the Wardlaw family); and the Sandhills Veterinary Clinic (the Thomas family).  Many thanks to the Heathwood Maintenance staff for their assistance, and thank you to the Heathwood PE staff for running the Fall Fun Day games.

With appreciation,

Rich Edwards