Thank you!

Little did we know that on November 22nd, 1984, our Thanksgiving holiday would change forever. Our one and done little 5k, with 74 runners, raised $520 for the WGN Good Neighbor Food Drive. Suggestions were made to do it again and we did. Year #2, 232 runners. And again, year #3, 407. Every year more and more people joined in the fun. And yes, we do have fun, all the while raising money to help feed our neighbors in need.

This year, our 40th, we welcomed 8,004 runners to run and through our neighborhoods and downtown Elmhurst. Over the years we’ve donated nearly $4 million to feed the hungry. It doesn’t happen without you, our participants. It doesn’t happen without our great sponsors. It doesn’t happen without our great volunteers.  It takes all of us. This year we will donate over $200,000 to our pantries and agencies.

On behalf of the Dan Gibbons Turkey Trot Foundation Board of Directors, thank you!

Here’s how it all unfolds:

5am: Volunteers begin to arrive. Lakeshore Athletics is already onsite installing the Start Line, Finish Line and lining the streets with 1200 feet of French barricades for crowd control.  RJ Recording is onsite installing their awesome sound system.

6am: Major intersection Course Marshals in place. Street and Sanitation crews begin soft closure. Elmhurst Police, Fire and DuPage County Sheriffs inspect the course.

7am: Race day registration and packet pickup opens in the Elmhurst University gym and Aries Charter begins their trolley runs. All Course Marshals on duty. Sound check is complete. Police and security in position. Superior Ambulance is onsite. Fire Dept and Streets and San fill and position Jersey barricades. The Shannon family sets up the water station at the Finish Line and the Elmhurst Police and their families set up the water station on Palmer Drive. The barricade crew sets up the barricades splitting the underpass on Palmer Drive.

7:30am: Announcements begin, hospitality tent – Steve Riley and Pete Harmon open the beverage corner and DJ Davey Jones begins spinning his tunes. Comcast team onsite-Joe Piscitelli, John Quigley and Ken Bartels.

8:30am: Dignitaries arrive at Start Line and load scissor lifts – Honorary Starter Randy Bronge, his wife Jeanne and granddaughters Sarah and Marion, Mayor Scott Levin, Dan, Board President Tom Donofrio, Vice President Nick Cuzzone and Jim Cornelison. We’re informed that Lima, Lima is in position and on the “perch” over Northlake.

8:45am: Dan addresses crowd, thanks everyone, sponsors, volunteers, then a moment of silence. Mayor Levin addresses the crowd, presents Dan with a proclamation for the 40th anniversary.

8:50am: Fr Tom and Fr Jeremy do the invocation.

8:54am: Men of Spirito’s Patriotic Medley, Doug Peters-Director, Crystal Forbes on keyboard.

8:58am: Lima, Lima is called in signal from Dan to Tony Cuzzone and LL ground control. Jim Cornelison performs the National Anthem. Lima, Lima hits the Start Line at the peak of the anthem with smoke and lights. Perfect timing.

9:00am: Randy Bronge starts the race, Louis Armstrong’s “Wonderful World” resounds!

…and we’re off !