Annual Boathouse Turkey Trot benefits Food For Thought

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

Dressed as turkeys to sumo wrestlers and everything in between, more than 30 people came out Saturday morning to participate in the Turkey Trot at the Boathouse Oyster Bar on Destin harbor to benefit the Food For Thought charity.

The second annual Turkey Trot, a .5K slacker event, is more about having fun and helping the community than an athletic event. The Boathouse has about a half-dozen slacker events throughout the year, with each one benefiting a different charity.

More:A Mexican pickle, COVID-GIRL, and hoola hoops - Slacker .5K pulls in thousands for the pups (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

About 30 people participated in the annual Turkey Trot at the Boathouse Oyster Bar on Saturday to benefit Food For Thought.

"We're here today for Food For Thought ... and we do it to have fun," said Missy Schofield, owner of the Boathouse.

Each participant was asked to bring a minimum of five non-perishable food items that will be delivered to Food For Thought.

Participants in the Turkey Trot dressed up for the event. Dressed as raptors are Megan Bodie and her daughter Cora along with Aeriel Sacia as a sumo wrestler.

Food For Thought is a not-for-profit organization that fights hunger in Walton and Okaloosa counties by filling backpacks for children and filling bags of food for families.

Following the national anthem, participants made their way through the trot events, which took them up the hill to Landshark's for a pork rind and garlic cheese curd ball. Next, they stopped for a pie-in-the-face-type event, followed by a ball toss in hopes of sinking it in a cup at a flip-the-cup event.

"This is more fun than we thought it would be, it's amazing," said Cari Boyd, who is visiting from Arkansas. Boyd said she saw the event posted online and decided to give it a try and had a blast along with her friend, Jess Green.

"We had been joking about doing a race all year and when we heard about this, and that it was a .5K ... I said yes," Green said.

Scarlett Kaya enjoys a turkey leg before the Turkey Trot gets underway on Saturday at the Boathouse Oyster Bar.

Lorie Labbe of Lake Charles, Louisiana, also heard about the event online and decided to give it a try. She loved it.

Although Labbe didn't have a costume to wear, she came on anyway. Labbe said she already is making plans for a costume for next year.

"Plus it's always good to give back," Labbe said, as she helped to unload some of the food items for FFT.

For Dawn and Brad Simmons of Fort Walton Beach, they participate in all the Boathouse slacker events.

Amber Helton, events coordinator at the Boathouse, dressed as a turkey for the Turkey Trot.  About 30 people participated in the Turkey Trot to benefit Food For Thought.

"It's a good fundraiser, good for the community and lots of fun," Dawn said.

"We do it to help out the charities," Brad added.

Related:Volunteer Spotlight: Hayes helps to bridge gap with Food For Thought

"Food For Thought is one of the best organizations with how they help out with the backpacks. ... It's a good feeling to give back," Brad said, noting he used to volunteer with FFT.

But in addition to the charity, Brad admitted they were there to "drink and socialize."

Kevin Dwyer of Destin was all about being there to socialize.

"We were looking for anything to do. We were tired of being stuck inside because of the COVID. I'm ready to socialize," Dwyer said.

Larry and Dawn Lipker of Destin celebrated their 25th anniversary at the Turkey Trot on Saturday at the Boathouse Oyster Bar.

For Larry and Dawn Lipker of Destin, they were repeat offenders of the Turkey Trot.

"There's nothing like it. We did it last year and had a lot of fun. We wound up spending the whole day here," Dawn said.

The two were celebrating their 25th anniversary at the Turkey Trot, decked out like turkeys complete with tail feathers.

Gabriel Jaime of  Fort Walton Beach and Lorie Labbe of Louisiana arrange the food items donated for Food For Thought at the annual Turkey Trot at the Boathouse Oyster Bar.

In addition to fun and games, there were 2-pound turkey legs on the smoker for folks and a few prizes given out. Aeriel Sacia, dressed as a sumo wrestler, won best costume. 

More than 140 food items were donated to Food For Thought.