Thousands "flock" to Broad Ripple to run to help the homeless

Nov 19, 2012, 16:51 ET from Wheeler Mission

Tenth Annual Drumstick Dash!

WHEN:  Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) November 229:00 a.m. start

WHERE:  Broad Ripple Ave. (In front of High School)

INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 19, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The tenth annual Wheeler Mission Drumstick Dash, presented by Huntington Bank kicks off Thanksgiving Morning at 9:00 a.m. in Broad Ripple.  In nine years, the Drumstick Dash has become one of the fastest growing run/walks in the country and the third largest in Indiana.  Last year, 15,327 runners and walkers participated in this fundraising event for Wheeler Mission, and race organizers anticipate nearly 17,000 runners/walkers and nearly 1,000 volunteers this year.  Wheeler President/CEO Rick Alvis stated, "In just nine years, the Drumstick Dash has experienced more than a 1,000 percent growth – which has been a real blessing to us as proceeds from the race benefit those experiencing homelessness in our community."

Continuing in tradition, Drumstick Dash mascot Jerry Gobbler (a six-foot tall turkey) will start the race about sixty seconds ahead of the pack, and the first man and woman to catch him will win a trophy.  While the identity of Jerry is a highly guarded secret, organizers will reveal that he/she is an accomplished runner and one fast turkey.

This year will once again feature a Celebrity Challenge, with nearly 20 local media celebrities competing for a turkey trophy to keep for one year. 

Founded in 1893, Wheeler Mission has been serving the Indianapolis community through a variety of programs for the most disadvantaged citizens – the poor and the homeless.  Funding for these programs has always come from the private sector as Wheeler does not receive government funds.  Proceeds from the Drumstick Dash will help Wheeler serve more than 300,000 meals and provide nearly 120,000 nights lodging in 2012.

Race day opportunities include interviews with:

Wheeler President, Rick Alvis
Huntington Bank Regional President, Mike Newbold
Race Organizer, Steve Kerr, Wheeler's Chief Development Officer
Local media celebrities, race participants, and volunteers

Photo opportunities include start of race with six-foot turkey being chased by 15,000 people. 

Contact: Steve Kerr, Chief Development Officer, Wheeler Mission
Cell: 460-0045

SOURCE Wheeler Mission