Runners and residents participated in a virtual Turkey Trot 5K hosted by Waterset by Newland, a local community, over last year’s Thanksgiving weekend. The 2020 race raised over $18,000 in proceeds, which benefit three public schools near the community: Doby Elementary, Eisenhower Middle and East Bay High School.
Waterset is owned in a joint venture partnership between North America Sekisui House, LLC (NASH), the U.S. business unit and a subsidiary of Sekisui House, LTD., Japan’s largest homebuilder and leading diversified developer, and Newland, the master developer of the community.
The Waterset Turkey Trot has become a beloved tradition for residents of the community and the Greater SouthShore area. In 2020, the Turkey Trot garnered over 300 runners and walkers, despite a change in format due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many local businesses also contributed to the race through sponsorships.
The 5K participants were invited to complete their course anywhere, anytime over the 2020 Thanksgiving weekend in order to promote social distancing, with many taking advantage of the 12-mile trail system in the Waterset community. Young runners were also encouraged to participate in a 1-mile Fun Run with the same guidelines. In addition to residents and runners from the surrounding area, participants came from as far as Colorado, Wisconsin and New York.
Lynda McMorrow, marketing manager at Waterset, presented checks, each for over $5,700, 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 school principals have discretion to use the funds as they wish.
“I’m so grateful for the proceeds from the Turkey Trot,” said East Bay High School Principal Amy Stevens-Cox. “Now more than ever, schools and teachers need to know that they’re supported, and this generous donation definitely sends that message. We plan on using a portion of our funds for scholarships for seniors, and will use the remainder on campus beautification projects to ensure our students feel pride in their campus.”
Robert Stingone, principal of Eisenhower Middle School, echoed that sentiment. “Eisenhower Middle School is proud to participate in the annual Turkey Trot at Waterset. We greatly appreciate the support Waterset has provided and the generous contributions to our local schools. Eisenhower has used this monetary support to purchase picnic tables used for outside classes and seating for breakfast and lunches. Our students have enjoyed the ability to sit outside to learn and spend time with each other because of these resources. We have also made vital technology upgrades. The Eisenhower Generals truly appreciate the outstanding support from our Waterset community partners and look forward to participating in the Turkey Trot event next year.”
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.
To learn more about Waterset, visit www.watersetfl.com.