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Garden City Turkey Trot Attracts Thousands of Runners!

The 32nd Annual Garden City Turkey Trot, Long Island’s largest Thanksgiving Day road race, had a record turnout this year and attracted more than 4,600 runners, including runners from 27 different states, Washington, D.C., Nicaragua, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. The Turkey Trot consists of three races, a Challenger Division Race for courageous special needs athletes, a 1.4 mile Fun Run and a challenging 5 mile run. All three races start and finish in front of the historic St. Paul’s School on Stewart Avenue.

The Turkey Trot is a community tradition that exemplifies the best of Garden City. Hundreds of volunteers, young and old alike, come out to lend a hand and help make the race a success. Net race proceeds are donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. A canned food drive resulted in hundreds of pounds of food being donated to Island Harvest and several hundred race T-shirts were donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.

Thanks to the generous support of corporate sponsors the race will net over $80,000 for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The local Merrill Lynch Garden City office is the race’s lead corporate sponsor. Lee Rusinek, regional managing director, and Bethany Mathewson, VP, regional business manager, and the entire Merrill Lynch Garden City office have shown a true commitment to support the race and its charities. The Kenney Family Foundation (Bill and Diane Kenney) also donates very substantial sums to the race beneficiaries and, assisted by Al Vanasco, ensures that the Challenger Division athletes experience the thrill of victory each and every year. Other major sponsors include Winthrop Radiology Associates (Dr. Orlando Oritz), National Land Tenure (Matt Miller), The Durnan Group (Matt Durnan), Rallye Auto Group (Joe Stanco), Verizon (Kevin Shine), Coach Realtors (Stephanie Cullum and the whole Coach Team), Rafferty Capital Markets (Larry Rafferty, Michael Rafferty and Greg Leder), SDR Solutions, and the Garden City Buffalos. Many local businesses, led by the Nelkin Family and the Garden City Hotel, also generously support the Turkey Trot and its charities each and every year without fail. Many other local businesses donate products or services including Bagelman of Garden City, Cupcake Corner, Kings, Long Island Banana Corp. Entenmanns and A&S Bagel.

This year’s race was dedicated to Jim Flynn, a former Garden City resident and four-time winner of the Turkey Trot who passed away on Sunday, Oct. 18, at age 52, after a courageous battle with cancer. The overall winner of the Turkey Trot will now be awarded the Jim Flynn Memorial Trophy. The Race Committee also presented a special trophy to the Flynn Family at the pre-race kickoff party at the Garden City Hotel.

The winner of this year’s 5-mile race and the first Jim Flynn Memorial Trophy winner was Ryan McDermott, 20, from West Hempstead, whose winning time was 25:04 (please visit to learn how to help Ryan’s brother Kevin, also a gifted young athlete, who was instantaneously paralyzed from the neck down, on July 5th, 2009, due to a cervical spinal cord injury). The first female finisher was Leonora Joy-Petrina, 27, from Bayport, NY with a time of 27:17. The first Garden City resident finisher was Jimmy Butcher, 23, who finished in 26:50.

The Race Committee (Race Director Ken Aneser, Kevin Coffey, Bob Freeman, Chris Giarraputo, Mike Kopcak, Charlie Lee, Jim Loughlin, Ian Paisley, Bob Priest, Phil Puccio, Tim Tobin and Rob Votruba) would like to thank all the runners, volunteers, the Garden City Recreation, Police and Fire Departments, Mineola Ambulance, and all those who live on the race course for their support. The Race Committee wishes everyone a happy and healthy holiday season and looks forward to next year’s Turkey Trot!