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Oct 23, 2018 1:25 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Springs School's Turkey Trot Stresses Fitness

Last years Turkey Trot.  COURTESY SPRINGS SCHOOL
Oct 23, 2018 1:51 PM

The fifth annual Springs School Turkey Trot will return at 8:45 a.m. on Monday, November 19. Some students and staff members will even dress up as turkeys while taking part in the run—or walk—to help raise money for the Springs School Parent Teacher Association.

School Street and a portion of Old Stone Highway will be closed that morning with the help of the East Hampton Town Police Department and Fire Department. Parent volunteers will assist along the route by helping to keep everyone safe, while cheering them on.

According to Principal Eric Casale, the Turkey Trot is about a mile run, with the youngest students being the first to run.

“A couple of years ago, we decided to revamp our physical education program to not be tailored so much toward team sports,” Mr. Casale said on Thursday, October 18. “We wanted it to be geared toward personal fitness, wellness and health.”

He added, “Physical fitness is a lifestyle.”

Last year, the PTA raised more than $10,000 for student activities, including swimming lessons at the YMCA East Hampton RECenter, and ice skating at Buckskill.

The Turkey Trot’s main goal is to help raise the $19,000 needed for swimming lessons for grades kindergarten through four at the YMCA. The 400 or so students and teachers go to swimming lessons three times a year and are taught by certified swimming instructors. Students at John Marshall Elementary School in East Hampton also attend swimming lessons, but while John Marshall gets funding for its swimming program, Springs does not.

“Hopefully, one day, being able to swim will save someone’s life,” Mr. Casale added. “For now, the kids are enjoying swimming for physical fitness.”

“It’s a real community effort—it’s amazing how quickly this little community pulls together to support the kids,” Eileen McKee, president of the PTA, said about the Turkey Trot.

People of any age can participate Mr. Casale added.

“Watching the kids at the finish line is the best part,” Ms. McKee said, “They’re all so proud of themselves, as they should be.”

A billboard goes up near the finish line at the back of the school showcasing sponsors and donors who make a donation of $100 or more.

“The PTA does a great job providing activities for every child, all 730 of them,” Mr. Casale said.

Those who would like to sponsor the event can reach Ms. McKee at Emckee@springsschool.org. Turkey Trot T-shirts are for sale on the school’s website.

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