Posted by Erin Shannon on Nov 27, 2021
Preparations for this year’s Silverdale Rotary Turkey Trot started in the dark on race day with Rotarians and family members, Newberry Hill Heritage Park Stewards, Military from Naval Base Kitsap, community volunteers, and sponsors arriving at the Park at 6:30 AM to prepare for the runners.  
The first unregistered runner arrived at 7:00 AM, patiently filling out his form by the light of his cell phone. As nearly 500 runners filtered in over the next hour, it was fantastic to see the energy of the community show up for the reimagined fund raising event.
Runners from area cross-country clubs, nationally ranked collegiate programs, family guests from as far away as Tennessee, elves, and even princesses showed up to participate in the run or enjoy the event.
Runners also brought some cute four-legged friends along, and families came out with jogging strollers and managed to avoid a few rain showers for a fun run.
“My goal was to move the race from a parking lot to a more desirable, natural setting and to not lose money.” This was the mantra of Turkey Trot Chair Ed Hamilton shown on right with daughter Shyla and son Cody (who were also a huge help at every step).
With an enthusiastic support by the Newberry Hill Heritage Park Stewards and the cooperation of the Central Kitsap School District, the event was moved to the Heritage Park, with the Klahowya Secondary School campus used for parking. 
Raising money for fighting hunger in our community was handily achieved when online and in person registrations reached 500, and 12 very generous sponsors supported the event. 
While total numbers and expenses are still being tabulated, this event should net about $12,500 for our Rotary Club’s food and kids programs! 
The family event, with the tagline “Take a Trot on the Wild Side” offered four options: a Kids Dash for the toddlers, 1-Mile and 5K routes revived from previous Turkey Trots, and a new event, the 10K run!  The longer events were run on the Old Loop Road and offered runners a beautiful path through the trees away from cars, sidewalks, and paved roads. 
Success can be measured in many ways, but perhaps the greatest success of this year’s Trot was the tremendous outpouring of support from the community and the revival of a tradition after a challenging year - a reminder to ourselves and our community that we are People of Action!