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Despite the obstacles posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pleasanton North Rotary managed to raise more than $7,000 for youth programs during its sixth annual Tri-Valley Turkey Burn Family Fun Run over the Thanksgiving holiday.

This year’s Turkey Burn drew 225 registered participants who planned their own runs, walks, or strolls with family members or small groups of friends in the Tri-Valley area, according to Michael Cherman, who chaired the Rotary organizing committee.

The 2019 Tri-Valley Turkey Burn at Ken Mercer Sports Park in Pleasanton drew nearly 2,000 registered participants.

“It was hard to predict what it would be like to go virtual, but we still had a lot of positive feedback from our runners and walkers,” Cherman said. “The spirit of the Turkey Burn lived on.”

As in past years, participants were again invited to share messages of thanks in words and pictures on their Turkey Burn runners’ bibs. The Rotary also accepted donations of canned and packaged food items for the Tri-Valley Haven Food Pantry.

The Turkey Burn helps supports local youth services such as the Rotary International Youth Exchange, Student of the Month awards, the Richard D. King Youth Speech Contest, and scholarships to the Rotary Youth Leadership Award camp in Scott’s Valley, California. Funds this year will also go to Seek and Save, a Pleasanton-based charity for under-served youth.