Turkey Trot is a reliable fundraiser for Bowlby Library

To prepare the body for Thanksgiving dinner and the coming holiday season, the Eva K. Bowlby Library is holding its annual 5k Turkey Trot in Waynesburg Nov. 23. This is an event that draws participants of all ages.

“We were looking for a fundraiser that would fulfill the library’s mission. We wanted something that would be fun for all ages and that could educate the community on the different opportunities available,” said Kelly Hardie, Waynesburg University’s assistant dean of Student Services and former member of Bowlby Library’s board of directors. 

The race will begin and conclude at the library’s gazebo, with walkers starting at 9:15 a.m. and runners taking off at 9:30 a.m. The 1k Wobble Gobble for children ages 3 to fourteen will begin at 9 a.m. There will also be several programs taking place within the library to occupy children during the race. This provides parents who hope to run a source of childcare. Admission is $25 per person to register as a walker or runner in the 5k and $15 per child to register for the Wobble Gobble. All profits will benefit the library’s mission, “to provide through the use of traditional and emerging technologies, materials and services for community residents of all ages for literacy, information, fun and enrichment.”

Hardie came up with the idea to hold the annual Turkey Trot while she served as committee chair of fundraising for the library up until about a year and a half ago. She still holds a volunteer position as race director when the Turkey Trot comes around each year. 

There is much more that goes into the day besides just planning the race.

“We’ll have all of staff on deck to facilitate and ensure things run smoothly,” said Kathy McClure, executive director of Bowlby Library. 

McClure’s role regarding planning for this day largely encompasses overseeing that things are in order, registering sponsors for the event and supporting her board of directors who do much of the planning. 

“The director of children and youth services particularly does a lot for this day,” McClure said. 

In each trot packet, participants will receive information regarding programs available at the library during the day of the race. Many of these children’s programs will be available to kids during the day and are also a small sampling of the programs that are available at the library year-round.

“We hope that this day can showcase the many program opportunities that the library has to offer to the community,” Hardie said. 

Many of the past profits from the Turkey Trot have contributed to programming and “extra things we aren’t able to do on our regular budget,” McClure said.

A significant portion of the money raised from this year and last year is fueling the library’s recent building campaign. McClure said they have been gathering funds to build a two-story addition to the library. Some prospective ideas on how this space will be used are a meeting room, expansion to the library’s reference section, a few quiet rooms available for public use and a multimedia room. They are in the process of applying for a Keystone Grant and most likely will not begin building until at least the spring of 2021. 

The 5k Turkey Trot has proved a successful annual fundraising event since Hardie established it.

“It’s a great community event,” McClure said. “It brings awareness to our library. People who support the library can come in and see just how much we offer besides books.”