The annual YMCA Turkey Gobble supports LIVESTRONG, a free program for those living beyond and through cancer.

More than 4,000 participants came together on November 23, Thanksgiving morning, to run and walk the ninth annual Turkey Gobble road race, which was the largest one to date, raising over $110,000. The event was held by AMALIE Arena and presented by AdventHealth. The race supported LIVESTRONG, a free health program for those living beyond and through cancer. More than 150 volunteers were on hand to ensure the event ran seamlessly.

With almost 260 teams in attendance, many participants showed up in fun costumes and turkey hats. The 5K and 1-mile fun run saw racers and walkers down Channelside Drive at 7 a.m. The event also saw graduates from the LIVESTRONG program receive certificates. Dawn Kita, race lead and its operations director of community health, was delighted with the turnout.

“The 2023 Tampa YMCA Turkey Gobble was our most impactful Turkey Gobble to date because of the combined efforts of our sponsors, YMCA staff and the incredible volunteers who came out the week of Thanksgiving to give back. Thank you all,” Kita said.

“We focused on the fundraising component and our racers raised over $22,000 in donations this year, more than doubling last year’s fundraising amount,” said Kita. “We had many of our LIVESTRONG participants attend and graduate at the plaza before the event and then use the strength they gained during their program to complete the race. Watching one of our graduates who has a walker cross the finish line with her coach cheering on her every step was incredible. This is what this race paves the way to make happen: people setting and achieving goals and supporting others to do the same.”

Save the date for the 10th annual Turkey Gobble road race next year: November 28, 2024, supporting the LIVESTRONG program.

The Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA is a cause-driven, four-star charity that has been strengthening Hillsborough and East Pasco communities for over 130 years through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The Tampa Y has long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise but also to deliver lasting personal and social change. Visit for more information.

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