First annual Thanksgiving 5K a success

Runners and Walkers began running in the early morning on Thursday, Nov. 28 from the Breckenridge Community Center to help fundraise for the Valley Lake Boys Home Christmas and New Year party.

Runners worked up their Thanksgiving appetite while participating in the Valley Lake Boys Home (VLBH) first annual 5K Turkey Trot on the morning of Thursday, Nov. 28 in Breckenridge, Minnesota. The fundraiser goes towards helping provide the boys in the home with a Christmas and New Year party.

Runners and walkers arrived early that morning at the Breckenridge Family Community Center dressed in hats, jackets and running shoes to help raise money for the VLBH. Assistant Director of VLBH, Karla Littke, estimated there were approximately 38 participants.

“It was really a great mix of people, some people even brought their dogs,” Littke said.

“I loved it. It was great. It was awesome for it to be local and to have the bike path to run on. It was perfect and the weather was so nice,” Lori Gefre, billing clerk for the city of Breckenridge, said. “It was a really nice day and they had snacks after.”

Gefre ran in the Turkey Trot with her 14-year-old son, who won second place.

The first-place winners were Adrienne Vancura for females and Justin Formaneck for males. Second place winners were Carol Vancura for female and Ethan Gefre for males. Third place winners were Julie Vancura for females and Al Cleveland for males.

“Joanna did a really nice job of organizing it all,” Gefre said. Joanna Etzler is the executive director of VLBH in Breckenridge.

“There are those in the community that have donated gifts for boys. Some are donating Christmas cookies and all other goodies,” Littke said. “We are very fortunate with the community.”

Due to the success and positive remarks from the community, VLBH intends to hold this event annually to help fundraise money for facility.

Littke remarks that the boys in the home are very appreciative of those who participated and also those who donated gifts, time and food for their Christmas and New Year party.

The VLBH hosts a Christmas party for all the boys to play games, such as bingo, have a Christmas meal and win prizes. Each boy will get a present that is donated or comes from fundraising. For the boys not going home for Christmas, they will have other gifts and a Christmas meal.

VLBH is a private non-profit residential treatment facility for juvenile delinquent boys, ages 12-18. The facility provides supervision and programming for boys with behavior problems and delinquency issues. The home is a place where boys learn to respect others and themselves. There are currently nine boys in the 14-bed residence.

For more information, call VLBH at 218-643-4036.

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