The coronavirus pandemic has changed much of our day-to-day lives since early spring, but two things that haven’t changed are the need for food and shelter security in our community and the organizations that work to provide basic necessities for many of our neighbors in need.

One of the largest and most counted-upon fundraisers to help meet those needs for the past decade has been the High Country Turkey Trot.

Starting with modest ambitions in 2011 — organizers initially wondered how many runners would show up, even for a good cause, on a Thanksgiving morning — the Hospitality House of Northwest NC has since raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars and thousands of pounds of food to benefit housing, hunger relief and crisis assistance in its seven-county range.

Each year, runners and non-runners are invited to attend and help raise money for the nonprofit organization. This year, the event will be held virtually because of safety concerns surrounding COVID-19. It will also take place during the course of a week instead of the traditional one-day event.

Prizes and bragging rights are a fundamental part of the event, but the big winners are those who are able to receive the services Hospitality House provides. Registration begins now. Visit hcturkeytrot.org for information and to sign up.

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