What it’s like to host 1,300 people for Thanksgiving

As we prepare for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, turkey is the last thing on our minds; we are too busy trying to put the finishing touches on our 6th Annual Smiles Change Lives 5k Turkey Trot.

For the past six years, we have played Thanksgiving host to thousands of people. Those thousands of people did not blogpostcome to us looking for food, but for physical activity. Frank and I work in the health industry, and we love the fact that people are coming out to exercise in the morning before going home to indulge in their holiday meals.

What makes this 5k event even better is that people are doing something for those other than themselves. The race is for charity; the money goes to help local children get much needed life-changing orthodontic treatment. Not only are people helping themselves by running or walking, they are making a difference in a child’s life.

A race of this magnitude does not happen without the help of volunteers. We could never do it without all their hard work. It is not easy to get up on a cold dark Thanksgiving morning to help set up water stations and t-shirt pick-up tables, or hand out turkey headbands for the upcoming race, but our volunteers do it. Year after year, friends assist us in putting on this fantastic family race that represents over twenty different states.

The Smiles Change Lives Turkey Trot has become much more than a 5k race: it has become a family tradition. People stop us all the time to share how much fun they had. For most, it is the only race that the whole family participates in…and I mean whole family! Grandparents, mothers, fathers, children, and babies in strollers are all running, walking, or rolling their way through the course!

The Smiles Change Lives Turkey Trot is so much more than a 5k race: it is an opportunity to feel good and do good. Hope to see you on the course this Thanksgiving!

Cheers to your health!

Dr. Frank Egan is an orthodontist in East Patchogue and Christine is the author of “The Healthy Girl’s Guide to Breast Cancer.”