ST. GEORGE – On Thanksgiving morning, “The Gobbler,” an event featuring 10K, 5K and 1K races, will bring the community together to raise money for the Dove Center, a shelter for those who have been affected by domestic violence or sexual assault. The Gobbler will begin at Confluence Trailhead in St. George.
Brothers Adam and Collins Stuart started the race as a way to bring family and friends together on Thanksgiving Day, and it has grown from one family going for a run to a full-fledged community event, attracting more than 800 runners last year.
“The Gobbler is our interpretation of what a good family tradition Thanksgiving morning run would look like,” Adam Stuart said.
Last year was the inaugural public event, and while only about 350 runners were expected, 865 runners showed up, Adam Stuart said. This year, 2,000 runners are expected to participate in the race.
“We do lots of games for the kids,” Adam Stuart said. “We dress a guy up in a turkey outfit and run him in front of the kids, so it’s kind of like a turkey chase.”
“We’re all about being really fun and whimsical and not serious, although we are a timed event and it’s a legitimate race,” he added.
Proceeds benefit the Dove Center
“When I was 17 years old and working towards my Eagle Scout, St. George was a smaller town. They (the Dove Center) were a foundation that for some reason just seemed important to me as a kid,” Adam Stuart said. “My dad raised me to really respect women. So to know that there was a home out there dedicated to women that might need relieved of troubling situations, I thought that was something.”
For his Eagle Scout project, Adam Stuart installed window awnings at the Dove Center. All these years later, he said, the Dove Center’s cause has stayed with him, and he wanted to organize an event that would benefit the sheklter and its efforts.
“That cause has always been close to my heart,” he said.
The Dove Center has two locations in St. George; one acts as a safe shelter for women and children looking to escape from domestic violence, while the other serves as a safe haven for victims of sexual assault.
“We look for a lot of volunteers,” Melissa Haley, of the Dove Center, said. “It’s nice to have people come in and volunteer for this type of thing.”
The center has several different types of volunteer programs including internships, prevention education, advocacy and counseling support, among others.
The Dove Center also has many online resources for those seeking help. Visit their website for more information as well as to donate.
- What: The Gobbler 10K, 5K and 1K
- When: Thursday, Nov. 27, 8-10 a.m.
- Where: Confluence Trailhead, 1850 S. Convention Center Drive, St. George (south of the Dixie Convention Center)
- Cost: 10K: $29; 5K: $36; 1K: $12.
- Details: Online registration ends Monday, Nov. 24. Late registration will be accepted Tuesday and Wednesday during packet pickup at Lin’s Marketplace on Sunset Boulevard in St. George. Thanksgiving morning registration at the race will be accepted but with a $5 per person surcharge. Late registration payments by check or cash only.
- More information about the race can be found here
- To learn about the Dove Center, to volunteer or make a donation, click here
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