Dressed in orange and clad with plush turkey hats, festive tutus and shiny new medals, runners — and joggers and walkers — poured out from under an inflatable arch at the Beaches Town Center.
They gathered in Neptune Beach on a breezy Thursday morning for the fifth annual Tony’s Turkey Trot for Brain Injury Awareness.
The run was founded in 2015 by Anne-Marie Tucker, whose father, Tony Meduri — a retired Lieutenant from the Delaware River Port Authority — suffered from a traumatic brain injury, or TBI, in a car accident. Money raised from the race benefits the Tony Meduri TBI Fund, which raises awareness of the condition and promotes helmet safety.
Reliant Roofing, Solar, & Hurricane Shutters hosted and sponsored the 1 mile fun-run geared toward families with younger children!
“My experience as [my father’s] caregiver made me realize that brain injuries were not receiving the attention they deserve because they can impact anyone at anytime,” Tucker said. “When dad was alive, I brought him to the event and we pushed him in his wheelchair the entire course. We have tried to give it a personal touch and real meaning.”
The amount of man-power for the race to run smoothly also increased, according to Tucker.
“This year, we have more than 100 volunteers that have graciously signed up,” she said. “It is their event just as much as it is our nonprofit organization’s.”
Activities included a 5k run in the morning, a 1-mile “fun run” geared toward families with younger children, a costume contest, live music and a pie-eating contest.
Tucker stated “I believe Tony’s Turkey Trot resonates with so many people for several reasons. First, it is not just any Turkey Trot, but rather a fun, community event with lots of other fun activities,” she said. “Second, there is a personal story and message behind this event — it was named for my father, Tony.”
Dear Sponsors and Co-Sponsors: We can’t thank you enough for your support and participation in making the 5th annual Tony’s Turkey Trot for Brain Injury Awareness a successful community Thanksgiving event!