SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – Now in it’s 3rd year, Shrewsbury’s Turkey Trot for the Memory has raised nearly $40,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Alzheimer’s, a disease that afflicts 5.4 million Americans, is a deadly form of dementia.
In 2007, Justice Francis P. O’Connor, who served 16 years on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, lost his battle with Alzheimer’s. Francis and his wife Ann had raised their 10 children and 33 grandchildren from their home on Prospect Street in Shrewsbury. Inspired by the O’Connor family tradition of gathering on Thanksgiving Morning for a “turkey trot” as a family, Jane O’Connor Lizotte in 2011 decided to open the family tradition up to the public- and hoped to raise a little money for the Alzheimer’s Association while doing it.
In it’s first year, the Turkey Trot for the Memory attracted an unforeseen amount of participants- over 500 walkers and runners in the first year! With the final dollar having been counted, the check for $12,500 was mailed to the Alzheimer’s Association; setting the bar for the following year. In 2012, the second annual Turkey Trot for the Memory more than doubled its participation, and sent $25,000 to benefit the association.
Our 3rd year is on track to be our biggest one yet; as the Turkey Trot has truly become a community event and a tradition for so many families. By gathering with one another to walk and run before we sit down to a Thanksgiving dinner, we not only celebrate the resilience of those suffering with Alzheimer’s, but also the spirit of our extended community.
The Turkey Trot for the Memory Committee is Jane Lizotte, Liam Davidson, Dave Lizotte, Dana Canzano, Leigh O’Connor, Jim Heald, Glen Lucchese and Amy Kotsopoulos.
The Turkey Trot for the Memory will take place November 28, 2013 at 8 a.m. on Shrewsbury Common. Pre-registration is available online at www.turkeytrotforthememory.org, and day of registration will also be available. The cost for the 5-mile event is $20 pre-registered, and $25 day of. The 2-mile walk/run is free but a donation is encouraged.