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article imageOp-Ed: Chiropractor College is ready once again for annual Turkey Trot Special

By Jonathan Farrell     Nov 23, 2014 in Lifestyle
San Jose - As families and friends prepare to gather for a meal on Thanksgiving Day, the students and faculty of Palmer Chiropractic College in San Jose will be busy helping to provide meals through the annual Silicon Valley Turkey Trot fundraiser.
"The goal for this year’s SVTT is 28,000 participants, and $1-million raised for local charities," said Chuck Bustillos, Communications Director for the San Jose Campus of Palmer Chiropractic College. "The money raised will go to Healthier Kids Foundation Santa Clara County, Housing Trust Silicon Valley, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties, Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County and The Health Trust."
He pointed out that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the Turkey Trot that was founded by Carl and Leslee Guardino. Carl who is president/CEO of Silicon Valley Leadership Group, wanted to do something to help the community during the holiday season after hearing about what a group of people did to help raise funds for the needy in Sacramento. Carl had been listening to the radio and heard the report of it that Thanksgiving morning back in 2004.
In a simple but defining moment, Carl turned to Leslee and said, “Somebody ought to do a race like that here.” Leslee in turn, gave Carl that look that said, “Maybe that somebody should be us.” Both marathon runners in their free time, Leslee and Carl thought having a run on Thanksgiving Day would be a great idea.
Quickly reaching out to friends and associates, Carl got the attention of Bob Brownstein at Working Partnerships. This is the 'think tank' part of the Central Labor Council. Understanding immediately the important impact a fundraising event like that would make, a partnership was established. Months later, a significant stride was reached when Joe Pon of Applied Materials got the company to embrace the role of serving as the Multi-Year Title Sponsor. Once the help of a title sponsor, and then several branded co-sponsors, joined in, the Applied Materials “Silicon Valley Turkey Trot “was born.
Even with help and encouraging support, Carl noted back in 2011, "we had some challenges with traffic and with congestion at the finish line." Despite the complications and occasional set-backs, Carl pointed out, the 5K run and 10K run/walk Turkey Trot through downtown San Jose has grown exponentially every year.
The Turkey Trot event is run almost exclusively by volunteers from the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Central Labor Council, City of San Jose, County of Santa Clara, Applied Materials, numerous community partners and each branded co-sponsor and our three benefiting charities.
"Kudos to Carl Guardino for conceiving the idea of the Turkey Trot," said Bustillos. He noted that since Guardino's efforts to found the annual run, "The Trot has grown to become the largest timed event of its type in the United States."
Palmer Chiropractic College at the San Jose Campus has made the Turkey Trot part of its tradition. As Bustillos and others in the chiropractic care community point out, part of the training of a good chiropractor is to participate in community. Helping to feed the hungry is one of the outreach efforts Palmer Chiropractic College supports and encourages.
"Once again, said Bustillos, the Associated Student Government at Palmer’s San Jose Campus has coordinated a canned-food drive among students at the College, in support of the “Can-Do Challenge,” which asks each SVTT participant to help put an end to hunger, and brighten the holiday season for the less-fortunate members of our community, by donating non-perishable food items, which are donated to Second Harvest Food Bank."
"Turkey is a traditional holiday meal for many local families, so we are depending on the community to help us meet our turkey goal," said Kathy Jackson, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank. "We also need monetary donations to help feed our hungry neighbors all year long. Nearly 250,000 people rely on Second Harvest for food every month, and 100,000 of them are kids."
Second Harvest also appreciates the efforts of individual businesses (like chiropractor offices) and merchants that encourage their clients, customers and associates to donate food at a collection barrel that is provided and picked up by Second Harvest.
"This year's goal is 13,000 turkeys," said Caitlin Kerk, media relations coordinator for Second Harvest. At present so far over 7,000 have been collected. Kerk pointed out that while during the holiday season people are more aware of need and hunger, the on-going effort to feed the hungry is increasing.
"We distributed more than one million pounds of nutritious food each week to low-income people in need in every zip code of our service area from Daly City to Gilroy, and from the ocean to the bay." And that is in just this one fiscal year of 2014 (from about July 2013 to June 2014)," she said.
The goal for this year’s Turkey Trot is to bring in 25,000 pounds of food. Participants are asked to bring at least five cans of food to donate. And all those interested in registering must do so online. There will be no registration at the Trot.
Eager to help in anyway they can, especially for first-timers and those not accustomed to early morning events, Palmer Chiropractic College will also be hosting a tent in the Festival area for Palmer students, alumni, and clinic patients to enjoy complimentary coffee, before venturing onto the course, and getting ready to “trot.”
"Palmer earned its spot in the Festival area by winning (or ranking near the top) in the 'Fittest Firm' competition (among companies in the 50-100 employees category)," said Bustillos.
"While California needs rain, said Bustillos, hopefully the weather will hold up as sunny and clear for Thanksgiving Day."
For more information visit The Applied Materials Silicon Valley Turkey Trot 2014 web site.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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