ECHO turkey trot raises over $60,000 on Thanksgiving morning

ATASCADERO — On Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 24, families trotted for a cause in both Atascadero and Paso Robles. 

In Atascadero, the El Camino Homeless Organization (ECHO) hosted its annual Turkey Trot to benefit services at both their Atascadero and Paso Robles locations. 

“It was amazing. It was a huge success,” Donor Relations Community Engagement Manager Austin Solheim said. “We had an amazing turnout, the community was great, and the entire day went on without a hitch.”

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Over 500 people came out and participated in this year’s 4th Annual Turkey Trot. Solheim notes that each year the Trot grows in popularity with about 100 more participants each year. He expects their proceeds when said and done will amount to over $60,000. Local foundation B Loved joined ECHO again to match their donations, which is included in that final total.

“Its growing in popularity,” explained Solheim. “It’s really becoming a Thanksgiving tradition for a lot of families and for a lot of runners as well.”

Winning runners for this year’s Turkey Trot were:

  • First Adult Male: Paul Yun
  • First Under 18 (and overall): Nathan Cooks
  • First Adult Female: Paige Shelton Reynolds

“Not only is the Turkey Trot a way for us to raise funds to support our services, but it is also a great way for us to engage the community,” says Solheim, who said ECHO is also partnering with the Templeton Market on Main Street for another fundraiser this month.

Starting next week, a giving tree will be on display in the market. Different services and suggested donations for both locations will be on the tree for individuals to take and for people to take and donate.

For more information on ECHO, visit echoshelter.org.

Photo by Rick Evans / ATN

In Paso Robles, the Paso Robles High 2021 CIF-champion boys wrestling team hosted the 17th Annual Turkey Trot 10K and 5K run. The annual run supports transportation and gear fees for the team, and 15 percent of the proceeds will benefit the SLO Food Bank.

Over 100 runners supported the team in running Linne Road that chilly Thursday morning. Coach Nate Ybarra noted this year was the biggest year yet for the annual Turkey Trot.

“I am happy to see the people of Paso supporting one of the toughest sports there is, wrestling,” said Ybarra.

There were six divisions: Men, Women, High School, Middle School, Open, and Masters, plus a best turkey costume contest. 

Winners of the 17th Annual Turkey Trot were:

5K 18 Under: 

  • Jack Machado 31:50
  • Gracie Weyrich 33:38

10K 18 Under:

  • Bishop Morsette 34:58
  • No girl participant

5K 18-35

  • Matthew Dancer 36:45
  • Malia Gaviola 36:16

10K 18-35

  • Coach Dylan Richter 44:15
  • Charlotte Castelli 44:55

5K 35+

  • Daniel Gomez 24:22
  • Jen Gaviola 36:16

10K 35+

  • Jon Blakketter 50:44
  • Alison Borges-Miller 47:23

Kelly Steinbrook and her family have been running the team’s Turkey Trot since its start.

“It means coming together as a family, supporting something that we cherish and that we think is great for the kids and the community,” said Steinbrook. 

In its nearly 20 years, the PHRS wrestling team has raised over $20,000 through the Turkey Trot and expects this year’s proceeds to be around $3,000 alone. The team is already looking into a new course for next year.

On Monday evening, Dec. 5, the team will be hosting a spaghetti dinner at the Paso Robles Elks Lodge to help raise funds for hotel fees for the five tournaments they have this season. Currently, the PRHS wrestling team is ranked 44th in the state and has five highly ranked wrestlers in the state.