Beneficiaries of the 2018 Waterset Turkey Trot celebrate receiving more than $22,000, which was raised at the master-planned community's annual Thanksgiving Day 5K road race.

By Candace Rotolo

Three SouthShore public schools and a local running club will share proceeds from the third annual Turkey Trot at Waterset by Newland. Waterset representatives handed out the donations at a recent lunch at The Landing, the master-planned community’s café.

Lynda McMorrow, marketing manager at Waterset, presented checks for $7,026.92 to the principals of East Bay High School, Eisenhower Middle School and Doby Elementary School. The FishHawk Road Runners, which assisted in organizing the race, received a $1,000 donation for the club’s annual scholarship fund.

The Turkey Trot netted $22,580, raised through entry fees and donations from local businesses. More than 850 runners and walkers from both the Waterset community and the surrounding area took part in the annual Thanksgiving Day 5K race, which also featured a one-mile and half-mile Kids Fun Run.

The principals have discretion to use the funds as they wish. At East Bay High School, part of the donation will be used for student scholarships. Additional school uses may include updating audio equipment, beautifying the campus or purchasing technology items such as computers and tablets.

“It’s beneficial to us because the staff feels appreciated and supported by the community and it provides the little extras that improve the high school experience,” East Bay High Principal Maria Gsell said of the donation. “I think it also means a lot for the Waterset community to see the fruits of their annual race.”

“We’re so pleased with the ongoing success of the Turkey Trot,” added Lynda McMorrow. “The event gets better and better each year. It’s an outstanding example of not only Waterset’s dedication to supporting our schools, but it also shows the commitment our entire Apollo Beach community has in making an impact for our students. We know the principals and staff will make good use of the funds they receive.”

In addition to funds raised through the Turkey Trot, Waterset donates several iPads each quarter to deserving students at Eisenhower Middle and East Bay High School students and sponsors other school events throughout the year.

Newland Real Estate Group, LLC (Newland) is the master developer of the community. Waterset is one of more than 30 communities the NORTH AMERICA SEKISUI HOUSE, LLC – Newland partnership has developed together in 12 states across the United States.