WASHINGTON, Sept. 25, 2020—the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington’s Bethesda-Chevy Chase branch and the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rotary Club have been the organizers of the D.C. metro area’s largest 10K race for decades. The Turkey Chase has been a hallmark event for 37 years and annually hosts over 10,000 participants spanning several generations. And while the new reality of COVID-19 will change the way in which the Turkey Chase is run, the event is not being canceled. In accordance with COVID-19 Health and Safety regulations, a virtual Turkey Chase option will give every participant the opportunity to run virtually (but together) on Thanksgiving Day. This year’s event, hosted by all the YMCA branches in the metropolitan region, is open to runners/walkers/bikers from across the nation. 

The Turkey Chase helps provide much-needed funds for community programs and supports the Y’s critically needed programs and services throughout the metropolitan Washington area. “With so many families suffering hardship, the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington’s community support is critically needed, now more than ever. We are thankful to be able to offer this virtual option and expand our outreach,” said Carla Larrick, vice president of operations of the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington.

This year, we are also thrilled to announce that the Virtual Turkey Chase will go nation-wide. It will involve all the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington branches in the Greater Washington area, and give sponsors even more recognition and visibility than ever before. Turkey Chase has raised approximately $6 million in fundraising over 37 years and these funds have been received by youth, families, and seniors in need of scholarships and financial assistance in our YMCA programs and services.

Registrants can chart their own path to walk, run, or bike, and can select to participate as an individual, with family members, or as a team.  Registration is open now and the race starts November 16, going until November 30.  Everyone who has registered can also determine if they will participate in a 5K run/walk, a 10K run/walk, a two-mile walk, or a 10-mile bike ride.  For an enhanced experience, registrants will use a race app called RaceJoy.  Registration is open at turkeychase.com

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Washington area Y’s have provided a broad spectrum of community programs, services, and support. This includes serving more than 146,209 pounds of meats and produce, which served 14,416 local families; providing daycare at four YMCA branches for the children of essential workers; hosting blood drives to help meet the urgent needs of area blood banks; providing daycare for families throughout the DMV area; in addition to providing online classes, we have opened Y branches while adhering strictly to COVID-19 safety guidelines and restrictions in our areas.  Turkey Chase will allow the Y to continue providing these much-needed charitable services.

Sponsorships are available from $3,000 to $30,000 and will provide great visibility in front of a large audience. Sponsorships include complimentary entries to the Turkey Chase. For sponsorship information, please contact Genette Comfort, vice president of philanthropy for the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington, at Genette.Comfort@ymcadc.org.

New this year, you will have the opportunity to donate $200 to feed families in need. A “Food for Good” donation provides a week’s worth of local produce for five families, while also supporting local farmers. “More than 400,000 individuals face food insecurity within the Metropolitan Washington region,” said Angie Reese-Hawkins, President and CEO of the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington. “The YMCA addresses food insecurity by working with Mid-Atlantic farmers to distribute food to DMV families,” Reese-Hawkins explained.

In 1982, almost 38 years ago, we started the Turkey Chase at the YMCA Bethesda-Chevy Chase. Several years later the YMCA collaborated with the Bethesda Chevy Chase Rotary Club, and the race became even bigger. The race started with 200 runners and 20 volunteers, and now boasts 9,000 runners and 350 volunteers, with four races run.

For more information on the 38th Annual Turkey Chase, including information about sponsorships, registration, and “Food for Good” donations, visit www.turkeychase.com.  For more information about the YMCA of Metropolitan Washington, visit www.ymcadc.org.

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