The 2018 Middle School Turkey Trot has raised more than $12,500 and counting for Harvest Hope Food Bank--enough to provide tens of thousands of meals for those in need.
In addition, this year students held a turkey drive, collecting 166 frozen turkeys (more than 2300 pounds worth) for residents of counties impacted by Hurricane Florence.
Held each year on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, the Turkey Trot brings together all Middle School students and teachers--along with some special guests from Early Childhood and the Lower School--to walk (or run or dance) Heathwood's track in support of a great cause. Middle School students solicit donations from family and friends with a goal of raising enough money to make a significant gift to Harvest Hope. In its 15-year history, the Turkey Trot has raised more than $170,000.
The Turkey Trot is always a great event, said Middle School Dean of Students Rich Edwards, who coordinates it each year, but this year its underlying theme of gratitude seemed to register with students even more than usual. "The kids were just engaged all day," Dr. Edwards said. "And so many of them, without being prompted to, came up and said 'thank you' for the opportunity to participate in the Turkey Trot--that made the day really special."
"The Turkey Trot is about Heathwood and about community," added Middle School head Suzanne Nagy. "This event is one moment in which we are shaping the lives of our students to be good people. Every student and every adult in the middle school contributed in some way. Whether it was a donation of cash, a turkey, lunch and snacks, planning, a loud WHOO, or walking a lap on the track, this event touched every person in the middle school. For middle schoolers, fun is so important, and this was fun. It was fun to give to others, fun to feel as if we were making a difference, and fun to set goals and to achieve them together."