Turkey Trot returns for eleventh year, raises money for Exceptional Way

Published 9:00 am Friday, November 26, 2021

The eleventh annual Turkey Trot was held Thanksgiving morning at Inner Path Yoga Studio. People of all ages and even some dogs showed up to support the event and had the option of a two or five-mile route. The event raised money for The Exceptional Way, a nonprofit that works with adults who have disabilities.

Vickie Smith was the first woman to cross the finish line and Clint Jones was the first man to finish. Lisa Alford continued her tradition of hosting the event and giving out flamingos to the winners. Alford also provided water to participants after they finished.

Vickie Smith and Clint Jones were the winners of this year’s Turkey Trot.

Alford said the race is about more than just running for her. She said it’s mostly about the families and LaGrange community.

“What I liked most about the turkey trot is the families that come out,” Alford said. “Some of these families I’ve watched grow up. Some of the kids were little and now they’re in college. That’s fun to see the progression of people who’ve been here.” 

The event is a family affair for Alford as she recruits her family, including her mother and daughter, to help with the event. Her daughter, Madison Alford, said she loves to help her mom with the event.

Lisa Alford poses with her daughter, Madison Alford, and mother, Shirley Morman, as they prepare the t shirts for the event.

“My mom is a rockstar. She’s amazing [and] it’s fun to watch her give back to community,” Madison said.

Each year, the Turkey Trot chooses a different organization to help support. Alford said one year they received diapers and blankets during their fundraising.

“If there’s anything that is extra [with] the T shirts, I’ll send it to the organization, but one year we had blankets. This place was covered with blankets and diapers,” Alford said. “Diapers were huge [and] a good idea because I ended up having families call me later on and saying, ‘we’re having a tough time. It’s the holidays. Do you have any diapers left?’”

Mary Beth Pelt, the program assistant for Exceptional Way, said that everything raised will go directly into helping the adults with the nonprofit and addressing the need in the community.

“We didn’t have any idea how big the need was. It’s just a massive need and we currently are serving as many people as we can,” Pelt said.