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Record numbers run Thanksgiving Turkey Trot

By Staff | Nov 24, 2012

The 33rd annual Cape Coral Turkey Trot brought out record numbers which will help with three event runs that could raise nearly one-half million dollars for Southwest Florida babies and children in need of critical health care.

The Cape Coral Turkey Trot was held in the early morning on Thanksgiving with an incredible 2,500 runners, said Fort Myers Track Club President Candy Pemberton.

The top male finisher in the Turkey Trot was 18-year- old FGCU student Aaron Rojas of Fort Myers. His time was 16:29.09. The top female finisher was Charyse Smith of Cape Coral, 35, with a time of 19:11.21.

“We are still doing the results,” she said at press time, of total funds raised, but said they would be approximately $100,000.

Next, on Dec. 1, there will be another event, the City of Palms River Run, followed in March by the Hooters Half Marathon on March 3, 2013.

“We expect these races to raise about $100,000 each, and then we have a matching donor – a $20-million donor – Mr. Golisano, who will match some funds.”

B. Thomas Golisano of Southwest Florida of The Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples fame, was recently named as the premiere donor who announced committing to $20 million in donations (including matching) over a two-year period to the Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

Proceeds from the different races will the Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida various units, including Cape Coral Hospital’s Pediatric Oncology Unit and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

These young beneficiaries are near and dear to her heart, said Pemberton, who has worked for the last 25 years at Children’s Hospital and in the NICU.

“We don’t have enough room for all the babies in need in the area. If there is no room, we have to separate the babies from their families,” she said.

Proceeds could mean an additional 20 more highly equipped beds at the NICU in the Cape. “The Pediatric Oncology Unit will also get funds.”

For a complete list of race results, and information on the upcoming races, go to fortmyerstrackclub.com.