The entire community at West Hartford’s Sedgwick Middle School was invited to participate in the 1-mile run/walk which followed the Turkey Bowl, and raised money to help families with their Thanksgiving or other upcoming holiday celebrations.
By Ronni Newton
The weather may have been unseasonably warm, but Jared Leghorn, organizer of the annual Turkey Trot at Sedgwick Middle School, was fully into the spirit and sporting a turkey hat on the day of the successful event, which netted nearly $3,500 that will be used to assist families in the school community with their Thanksgiving or other holiday celebrations.
Leghorn, who teaches physical education and health at Sedgwick and is also the varsity basketball coach at Conard High School, previously organized the Turkey Trot at Bristow Middle School, and when he transferred to Sedgwick in 2019 he decided to do it there, too – although the birth of his twin daughters in the fall of 2019, and then COVID-19 protocols in 2020 and 2021, delayed those plans.
“This year, I was excited to finally get things moving,” Leghorn said. “Matt Celio, our intramural sports coordinator, convinced me to have the event right after the Turkey Bowl, where the staff plays (beats) the eighth graders in a flag football game. With the support of Principal Juan Melián and our administration, this format allowed for a big crowd to watch the game and to create a really fun event for our school.”
Indeed the teachers defeated the eighth graders in a raucous Turkey Bowl by a score of 21-0, presided over by volunteer referees wearing turkey hats who seemed to understand the complicated intramural flag football rules. The teachers have an 11-1 record of defeating the students in the annual event.
This was the first year since the pandemic that the Turkey Bowl returned with spectators, Celio said.
The Turkey Trot quickly got underway after the teachers posed with their Turkey Bowl trophy, and roughly 300 people participated in the 1-mile event – with some running at top speed and competing against their friends, others jogging, and some leisurely walking the four laps around the Sedgwick fields. The participation was about triple the number at Bristow, which is a much smaller school, Leghorn said.
A suggested donation was $10 per person, Leghorn said, and after expenses the event raised $3,460.
“This is our first time running what we hope will be an annual event that people who come to Sedgwick circle on the calendar each fall.”
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