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Rio Grande Valley holds its first Turkey Trot to benefit local veterans

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Kayla Padilla
/
Texas Public Radio
Participants set off on the first annual RGV Turkey Trot.

The 1st RGV International Turkey Trot was held Thanksgiving Day at McAllen Fireman’s Park with all proceeds going to local veteran organizations.

The 5k was organized by The Giving Tree Fund. Vice President Betty Cadena said the inspiration started last year when on Thanksgiving morning, her family couldn't find a local Turkey Trot.

“Thanksgiving, and that’s the perfect word for it because we are giving thanks to everything — to this country, to family and why we are here. And we live in a free country,” said Cadena.

James Tabak, founder of the Giving Tree Fund, said that as a former veteran he wanted to give back.

“I served in 1968 in Vietnam, and we lost 18,000 soldiers that year, and I want to give something back to the veterans, particularly those who served and suffer,” said Tabak. “We got 30,000 veterans in the valley and I want to make sure all of the money stays in the valley for local vets only,” said Tabak.

As for the international aspect, Tabak said participants joined the RGV Turkey Trot from all around the world virtually.

“We have a lady from Mission, she’s in Sweden and running from Sweden," he said. "We've got two in Acapulco. We have Nevada, Colorado, Virginia, Michigan and North Carolina.”

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