One of the area’s most beloved traditions is now making adaptations this month due to the pandemic. The 2020 FishHawk Turkey Trot, put on every year since 2009 to benefit Seeds of Hope, is going virtual so it can offer families a way to support neighbors in need while keeping safe.

Pre-registration for the event, which traditionally takes place on Thanksgiving morning, is now underway, and residents are asked to sign up by Wednesday, November 4 in order to be guaranteed one of the traditional T-shirts.

This year, participants are asked to run the race wherever they would like to during Thanksgiving week and tag social media photos with #FHTT2020.

Tickets can be purchased online and for $25, participants will receive a Turkey Trot shirt. For $35, racers will receive the shirt and a medal which can also be used as an ornament.

According to the race founder, Leda Eaton, race packets with sponsorship information will be distributed via drive-through later this month and participants will have the opportunity to take a fun, socially distanced photo with the turkey.

Seeds of Hope uses the money raised at the Turkey Trot to buy food throughout the year for residents who visit its food pantry and students who take home food in backpacks from school over the weekends. This year, due to the pandemic, the number of people turning to Seeds of Hope for food has risen exponentially.

“The success of this year’s race is needed now more than ever,” said Eaton. “With record numbers of people lining up for food weekly, Seeds of Hope is on the front lines of hunger relief in the community.”

The Turkey Trot would not be possible without support from local businesses, small and large.

“We would especially like to thank our Diamond Sponsor, Hess Orthodontics; Gold Sponsor, George Shea Realty; and Silver Sponsors, Alafia River Animal Hospital, Tide Cleaners, Chick-fil-A, the Osprey Observer, Tessera and IT Solutions,” said Sponsorship Coordinator Millie Shikes.

Eaton, for one, is looking on the bright side of the virtual race.

“As much as I love the race, my family and I are looking forward to doing it virtually this year,” she said. “We can run when and where we want, and for me personally, I can’t wait until the most stressful thing I do on Thanksgiving is make dinner.”

To learn more about Seeds of Hope and to sign up for the Turkey Trot, visit If you or a student you know are interested in volunteering to help the charity, email

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Kate Quesada
Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.