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Naperville Noon Lions' Turkey Trot: Fun, Local and Worthwhile

By Elizabeth Elstien

Over 7,000 people will come out Thanksgiving morning to the Naperville Noon Lions' Turkey Trot to raise funds for the Naperville Noon Lions. A non-profit that aims to help the vision and hearing impaired. Packets can be picked up at the Naperville running company and a complimentary after the run breakfast is held by Belgio's Catering in the Naperville High School. With so much support this event has become a town tradition.

Coordinated and staffed by the Naperville Noon Lions members and volunteers, this annual event began in 1998. The Noon Lions' motto is "We Serve" and they definitely make a difference in the community. They serve by providing individuals needed eye and ear exams, eyeglasses, hearing aids, and diabetes test strips along with other testing equipment. Over 3,000 children and adults served by the Noon Lions are proof of what one organization can do.

"During our last fiscal year we provided vision and hearing services to over 400 children and adults in the Naperville area," states Noon Lions' Turkey Trot Committee Member Maria Wilson. "The majority of these cases were children in Naperville School Districts 203 and 204." The Noon Lions also support local social service agencies that help youth and seniors in the surrounding communities. The Noon Lions raised more than $250,000 during the 2014-2015 fiscal year in support of these programs."There are no overhead costs, as all Club members and other individuals provide their services at no cost,"says Wilson.

The Turkey Trot is a big fundraiser for the Noon Lions, who also host other events during the year. As a big family-oriented area, bustling downtown Naperville is a perfect place to host the Turkey Trot. "One of our registrants is bringing 11 family members this year, including a two-year old and a two-month old," states Wilson. "In addition, numerous local businesses and organizations have stepped up to also support the run, and the City of Naperville provides a grant for city services."

How does the Naperville Turkey Trot work? A registrant must choose a shirt size, enter online and pay the nominal registration fee, which differs per age of registrant. Other directions are on the event webpage. The overall top three male and female runners are awarded prizes, along with prizes for each specific age group that participates.

The course is described as flat, fast and scenic. Trot, run, walk or stroll to the finish line. Walkers and others moving a little slower are asked to complete the course within an hour if they wish to have their time counted. Running strollers can be used to accommodate infants and toddlers with an adult runner, making it fun for the entire family. The catered breakfast, the t-shirt for all registrants and the knowledge that each person's participation is helping someone in need, make this a worthwhile event.

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About The Author

Elizabeth R. Elstien has worked in real estate for over 15 years as a real estate...

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