Area residents are invited to dress as a turkey or Native American for the second annual Mulberry 5k Turkey Run to be held Saturday to benefit Shop With a Cop.
Beginning at 8:45 a.m., the Turkey Run will start at the Mulberry Senior Inn at 406 W. U.S. 64. Registration is $25 for ages 15 and up and $15 for ages 14 and under.
Mulberry Police Department’s Shop With a Cop program tries to raise at least $100 each year for Christmas gifts for underprivileged area kids, said organizer Kristy Patterson.
Volunteers take families shopping in December, helping them to choose necessities first and then toys and other items the children and teens want for Christmas.
"Our goal is to take more kids than we did last year, which was 76 kids," Patterson said.
Last year, Mulberry Shop With a Cop efforts raised about $8,000, which was the most raised for the program since its inception, Patterson said.
But as the community grows, Patterson said need for the program also is growing.
"We’ve got needy kids who would not be able to have Christmas without this program," Patterson said.
This year’s Turkey Run is being held in honor of Roger Benham, a retired principal and civic leader in Mulberry who died in April. He helped coordinate previous events for Shop With a Cop, said organizer Barbara Richards.
Participants can run or walk in the event dressed as their "best turkey or Indian[sic]," according to a media release about the event.
Registration forms can be found at Sargent’s in Alma, the Mulberry City Complex or online at http://mulberry5kturkeyrun.weebly.com/. The first 75 registrants will be guaranteed a shirt, and door prizes will be given away during the event.
A pie and silent auction was held Oct. 18 at Mulberry City Park and raised $1,700 for the Shop With a Cop program. That money will be used to buy gifts for 17 children, organizers said.
Nurses from Mercy baked and donated many of the food items sold at the auction, and Brent Higgins Trucking sponsored the event, Richards said.
A Polar Plunge fundraising event will be held in December.