20th ‘New Canaan Turkey Trot’ Set for Sunday, Nov. 19 [Q&A]


One of the community’s best-loved annual events is set to return this weekend, with the 20th annual “New Canaan Turkey Trot” scheduled for the morning of Sunday, Nov. 19 (registration and details here).

Turkey Trot co-chairs (L-R) Henry Hladick, Adelaide Tuff, Pia Bausman and Caroline Squillante. Contributed

Co-chaired this year by four New Canaan High School juniors—Pia Bausman, Henry Hladick, Caroline Squillante and Adelaide Tuff—the Turkey Trot offers participants several options to participate in what is an important fundraiser for Open Doors in Norwalk: a 5k run (in-person race), virtual 5k run (run anywhere) or virtual 1 mile walk (walk anywhere). 

Sponsors include HSS StamfordStirling Mills Interior Design and Walter Stewart’s Market.

The event starts from Waveny House. Check-in on race day starts at 10:30 a.m., with kickoff at 11 a.m. Runners also can check in early at 84 Sports at 43 Vitti St. (3 to 6 p.m. on Nov. 17 or 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Nov. 18). 

We sent some questions to the organizers of the Turkey Trot and heard back from Hladick. 

Here’s our question-and-answer:

New Canaanite: For residents who are not aware, please give us some history/background on the Turkey Trot.

Henry Hladick: For residents who are not aware, the Turkey Trot New Canaan is an annual 5k race held on Sunday before Thanksgiving. All proceeds go to the Open Doors housing and homeless service in Norwalk. This is the 20th year New Canaan has held the race and the committee in charge of planning the event is run by high school students.

What kind of participation does the Turkey Trot typically see and what do you think draws people to support it?

The Turkey Trot really sees a wide variety of participants. Whether a person has a background in running or has never participated in a race, the Turkey Trot is the perfect event. It is open to all age groups, everyone is open and encouraged to sign up. I think the purpose of the race really draws people in. It is a fun event for a great cause. 

How did you get involved with co-chairing the event and what does that involve?

The co-chairs of the event are typically upperclassmen who have been a part of the committee for a number of years. A co-chair is a member of the group who has experience and can help organize the race. Being a co-chair involves leadership in running meetings and organization in setting up a plan to get ready for the race. But most importantly it takes dedication to the event as it is more work than any other role in setting up the race. 

Tell our readers about the Turkey Trot as a fundraiser for Open Doors, as well as the organization itself. What level of funding are you hoping to raise and where does it go?

The Turkey Trot is completely in partnership with Open Doors shelter. All proceeds go to their services which include emergency shelter, case management, affordable housing, food, and much more. In prior years the event has raised around $30,000 through ticket sales, donations and merchandise/raffle ticket sales. This year we hope to reach a similar level of success. 

What would you say to someone who has never seen or participated in the Turkey Trot?

I would tell them to come and support the event. It is a very fun tradition we have in New Canaan and anyone can come and participate. We encourage everyone to sign up or even stop by to check out. 

Give us some of the details of the Turkey Trot itself, as well as information on registration and ways that people can support the event even if they’re unable to actively participate.

The Turkey Trot is held at Waveny Park on November 19th. To sign up you can go to our website. On the website there is the option to sign up as well as other information about the event itself. The race starts at 11:30 am but there is an optional group warm up at 11:00. Although the race itself is the main event there will be other fun activities going on like the raffle ticket announcement. If you are not running you can also support by buying raffle tickets or merchandise. 

What else, if anything, would you like to say about the Turkey Trot?

This year is the 20th anniversary and there is no better time than this year to come check it out. If you are not interested please reach out to friends or family that may be because all support helps the Open Doors Housing and Homeless Service of Norwalk.

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