YMCA’s Thanksgiving Day Run in 28th yearPublished 11:26am Wednesday, November 18, 2009
By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star
For many, Thanksgiving is a time of tradition.
A tradition that starts early in the morning, with the heavy scent of the beginnings of a feast being prepared early in the morning.
It continues with the anticipation of the day’s signature football game and the welcoming of time with family and friends.
In Niles, it’s the mark of yet another longstanding tradition.
That of the Niles-Buchanan YMCA’s Thanksgiving Day Run, in its 28th year this season.
“It’s very unique,” YMCA CEO Bret Hendrie said. “Because it’s a holiday, number one. And a lot of times Thanksgiving is a time when families get together.”
At the YMCA they get together as well. Thanksgiving morning, an estimated 1,500 participants will take part in the event that includes a 10 and 5K run, a 5K walk and a one-mile fun run.
Proceeds “help to supplement our financial assistance program” as well as the YMCA’s scholarship fund, Hendrie said.
The event is a collaboration of the entire city, from officials who make arrangements along city streets for the run, to approximately 125 volunteers who help run the event to over a dozen city police on hand to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Each person involved coming out to support the YMCA, “on a holiday,” Hendrie said. “When everyone else is sleeping in and waiting for that first kick off of a football game … these people are donating their time.”
Hendrie said right now everyone is hoping for good weather.
“Last year we broke 1,500 (participants) for the first time,” he said.
Included in that 1,500 – whole families of five and even 10 members who come out to take part in the run together.
“It’s just amazing how the numbers have grown,” Hendrie said, calling the run “a very family-oriented event.”
An event held on a day so many give thanks for their friends, their family and their health.