Dan Gibbons sent out a personal Thank You note last week to those who helped make the 30th annual Dan Gibbons Turkey Trot a success last November.
"Because of this year's Dan Gibbons Turkey Trot, over $180,000 was donated to nine different feeding and shelter agencies that help feed and restore the dignity to our neighbors in need," Gibbons said in the letter.
Benefactors included United Community Concerns Association, Loaves and Fishes Community Pantry, West Suburban Community Pantry, People's Resource Center, Catholic Charities-DuPage, Elmhurst Walk-In Ministry, DuPage PADS, DuPage Senior Citizens Council and Elmhurst/Yorkfield Food Pantry.
"We are humbled to report that this was our biggest year ever, with 8,685 runners and walkers hitting the streets on a cold Thanksgiving morning—435 more participants than last year!" he said.
He thanked the many volunteers, the City of Elmhurst and the Turkey Trot Board of Directors who helped make the event a success.
"Given the many changes we had to make this year, our board and committees met over 30 times," Gibbons said. "Without question they are a group of people with the singular goal of helping our most vulnerable neighbors."
Gibbons shared several photos of the Turkey Trot, as well as of food pantry patrons.
"When you look at these photos, one thing is glaringly apparent: They look just like you and me, the guy next door or across the street," he wrote. "For them, the money we raise is the difference between a nutritious meal on their table or going to bed with an empty stomach.
"Unfortunately the need continues to be great, and we are already working on next year's Trot. With the many changes to the 2013 Turkey Trot, we realize there are things we can improve, and we are committed to doing so."
But, he says, they pledge not to take themselves too seriously.
"We are a true 'Fun Run' with a family atmosphere made possible by all our great sponsors that are listed on our website. Please join us in thanking them by patronizing their businesses."
As preparations begin for the 31st annual Turkey Trot, organizers remain dedicated to the mission of eradicating hunger in DuPage County.
"With 20,000 children still at-risk of going to bed hungry tonight, we believe one child at-risk is one too many. If not us, who? If not now, when?" he wrote.