PULASKI, NY – An impressively large crowd gathered in Pulaski’s South Park early Thanksgiving morning to participate in an event that provided a double benefit to the community, collecting food donations for the Pulaski area food bank, known locally as the Community Cupboard, and encouraging physical activity on a day usually dedicated to overeating and lounging.
Clear skies and light winds greeted the many runners, walkers, children and dogs, with the day slowly warming after an overnight hard frost. Participants were required to make a donation of food items as part of the registration process, and a steady parade of warmly dressed athletic and outdoorsy types entered the South Park with a wide variety of non-perishable items to be added to the Community Cupboard’s larder in hand. Many of the entrants were able to conveniently walk to the South Park from their village homes.
The holidays can be a difficult time for food banks, as the need rises with food oriented celebrations and travel at an increase. Pulaski’s Community Cupboard Coordinator Bruce Nothstein was happy to see the large turnout, and said that the Pulaski area’s support for the local food bank is always very strong.
“Our town really supports the Community Cupboard,” Nothstein said. “Every year we get piles and piles of donated food… it really helps the community a lot.”
Nothstein said that the Community Cupboard is often helpful to elderly area residents, as well as to people transiting the Social Services system.
“It surprises me how this little community comes together for things like this,” Nothstein said.
Master of ceremonies for the Turkey Trot was Pulaski Academy senior Luke Tighe, who organized the event as his senior community service project. After announcing the winners of several raffles, Tighe moved the runners to the starting area on Bridge Street and started the Trot with the sound of a horn. The large group headed off on a tour of the village, led by many members of Pulaski Academy’s cross country and track teams.
Pulaski Mayor Jan Tighe was on hand to enjoy the festivities, and she was very pleased with the turnout and the palpable positive energy that filled the South Park as the Trotters gathered.
“This event serves as a fundraiser for the Community Cupboard, but it also serves as an informal reunion where people see each other and get out and get some exercise…it’s just a good time for everybody,” Tighe said.