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4th annual Turkey Day 5K to benefit local food pantry

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Photo from last year’s Turkey Day 5K | Courtesy Lyndsay Goody

RIGBY – Rigby Pediatric Dental and the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Honor Guard are partnering to help benefit a local food pantry.

The fourth annual Turkey Day 5K is happening Thanksgiving morning at Jefferson County Lake to help stock the shelves of The Giving Cupboard in Rigby.

Rigby Pediatric Dental Owner Kory Bingham tells the race will begin at 8 a.m.

“I like to run, and I wanted to help do a running challenge and see if we can get some people out (to support it),” Bingham says.

Runners will make three laps around the lake. Hot chocolate will be served and music will be played throughout the race.

“This is a fun race,” according to the Facebook event page. “It is very informal, which means no timing chips, no T-shirts, no swag bags, and you keep track of your laps, but that also makes it a great, inexpensive community event where everyone can participate!”

Bingham says it’s open to anyone. There is no cost or registration other than a donation of at least five cans of food to participate.

Donations will be taken to The Giving Cupboard immediately following the event.

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As a pediatric dentist, Bingham says children and their health are important to him. Bingham is an avid runner and wanted to do something to help local families.

“It’s part of my personal mission in life to help with the overall health and well-being of children,” he says. “When I heard that some of the food pantries needed some extra help this year, it just made sense (to get involved).”

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard began hosting the Turkey Day 5K in 2017 in response to the community’s overwhelming support for the annual Jefferson County Stampede Days Outlaw Chase 5K, a fundraiser for the group of volunteer sheriff deputies.

This event helps pay for the group’s uniforms and travel expenses as they guard and carry the flag at various events.

“Our very first year of doing (the Turkey Day 5K), it was thrown together within a week. We decided to go for it and see what happened,” Guard member Caleb Sickinger says. “We actually had a pretty good turnout. Between 30 and 40 people showed up, which we weren’t expecting at all.”

It’s not clear how many cans of food were donated the first year, but it made a significant impact, and organizers decided to make it an annual event.

The event has gotten bigger every year. Bingham says about 60 people attended last year’s event, and he expects more participants this year.

“I’m really happy to be a part of the Rigby community, and I’m so grateful that the community organizes events like this,” he says. “Rigby’s a great place, and the people here do a lot to give back to their community.”

Several races have been canceled this year due to COVID-19, Bingham says, so runners have missed out. He’s encouraging you to support this cause and burn off some calories before sitting down to eat a huge meal.

Visit the Facebook page for more information.