Holiday events to benefit nonprofits

It’s truly the eve of the holiday season when events that celebrate both Thanksgiving and Christmas occur on the same weekend.

Regulus Group’s Turkey Trot marathon event around Woodstock will kick off Saturday morning at Massanutten Military Academy. The Teeny K Fun Run, a race around the school’s track for ages 10 and younger, will start at 8:15 a.m. before the 5K, and the 10K will begin at 9 a.m.

Regulus employee and race organizer Katie Rudolf said that maybe the most memorable moment of the race is seeing the Teeny K runners chase the costumed Turkey Trot mascot Giblet on the track.

“It’s a pretty cute sight to see all the kids chasing after the turkey,” she said.

In each race, turkey trophies and medals will go to the top male and female overall finishers of each race as well as the top three male and female winners in seven age groups.

This year, participants will get a chance to win a tasty contribution to their turkey day dinner with raffle items: a gift basket from Godiva and a gift certificate for a Cajun smoked turkey from Shaffer’s, to be picked up the day before Thanksgiving.

Last year, 540 runners raised more than $8,000 that went to Shenandoah Alliance for Shelter. Regulus employees decided to donate this year’s proceeds toward ChildSafe Center – CAC, which helps children affected by abuse. Katie Freakley, a member of the Turkey Trot team at Regulus, said many of their cases come from Shenandoah.

“The reason we chose CAC was because we know that so many of our Shenandoah County kids use that service … even though it’s not in the county,” she said. “It’s really important for us to pick something in our community that we see those dollars going back to.”

Front Royal

In Front Royal, those out looking for a head start on decorating for Christmas can get in the spirit at the Blue Ridge Art Council’s 13th annual Deck the Halls event.

“It’s really gotten to be the kickoff of the holiday season in the community,” said Kym Crump, executive director. “It’s just a really good spirit builder in the community and helps support our mission as well.”

Crump said a new general admission cost of $10 this year will be offset by a $10 coupon toward items purchased at the event. Council members, event decorators and sponsors will not need to purchase a ticket.

This year, Crump said businesses and other sponsors have decorated around 80 wreaths and trees that are made to last – some buyers reuse their pieces year after year.

Those in the market for a specially decorated tree or wreath can get a better feel for the pieces up for sale before the Premier Gala and Auction, but purchases won’t be accepted until 7 p.m. today. Crump said that in the past, some devoted attendees have stood next to their favorite decoration until the clock strikes.

“There’s all sorts of themes – there’s a lot of nature-themed items this year, there’s a couple book- or movie-themed items, but that’s up to their creativity,” she said. “They’re really unique items and I think it’s something people can use and give as gifts.”

Between the tree and wreath sales and auctions for various gift baskets and works of art, last year’s Deck the Halls event raised more than $9,000 toward Blue Ridge Arts Council’s various programs.

Holly Jolly Saturday will give kids a chance to chat with Santa and Mrs. Claus or work on holiday crafts while parents can have the pick of whatever decorations are left over from the previous night.

Turkey Trot: Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at Massanutten Military Academy, 614 S. Main St. in Woodstock. Registration is $10 for Teeny K Fun Run participants ages 10 and younger, $30 for 5K or 10K participants until 6 p.m. Friday and $35 for 5K and 10K participants the day of the race. Contact 540-459-2142.

Deck the Halls: 7-9 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at the Blue Ridge Art Council’s gallery, 305 E. Main St., Front Royal. Dress code is holiday festive and tickets are $10 at the door. Contact the council at 540-635-9909.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com