The 32nd annual Turkey Trot, which is held behind the Cape Coral Hospital by the Fort Myers Track Club, attracted runners as young as 3 years old Thanksgiving morning.
The Cape Coral Hospital Pediatric Emer-gency Room was named as the benefactor for all the proceeds that the 5k race generated to help provide equipment for the newly expanded emergency rooms.
"The Fort Myers Track Club has generously provided for the ongoing expansion of the Weigner Taeni Center for Emergency Ser-vices," said Duane Higgins, Lee Memorial Health System Foundation Director of Development, about the only named emergency room in the Lee Memorial Health System.
Wendy Piascik, vice president of Patient Care Services, said there are currently two rooms outfitted for children at the Cape Coral Hospital Emergency Room. She said the funds have provided the hospital with the ability to customize the rooms to meet the children's needs.
The rooms are child friendly in terms of graphics and equipment. Piascik said it is important to have child-friendly and appropriate equipment in the emergency room to make it less stressful for the youngsters that have to use the room.
"An emergency room can be a frightening place for children. With the help of the FMTC, we are able to create a child-friendly environment and provide child-size equipment," Higgins said. "In addition, the money raised through the Turkey Trot has provided a mobile child play station which can be used throughout the entire emergency room to keep children distracted while undergoing needed treatment."
Higgins said the track club has pledged a gift of $100,000 to name and equip one of the new pediatric emergency rooms. The proceeds from this year's Turkey Trot will be added to the $60,000 that has already been raised.
"The Turkey Trot has a long history at Cape Coral Hospital, and we are very grateful for their support of Cape Coral Hospital," he said.
Tom Murphy, board member and co-race director of the Fort Myers Track Club, said this is the fourth year the group will donate all of its proceeds to the pediatric emergency room.
"Hopefully we will be able to donate another $25,000 or more," he said.
Piascik said she had heard that 1,500 people signed up for the Turkey Trot this year.
Murphy said there were 2,168 registered participants for the 5k run and walk, 1 mile fun run and Tot Trot this year, which was 68 more people than the previous year.
Piascik said the parking lots and streets were full Thanksgiving morning for the event.
"It is a whole lot of fun," Piascik said about the Turkey Trot. "It is a good time for the whole community to get together."
The event has turned into a true family-oriented event.
Piascik said the track club really expanded the opportunity for the whole family to join in on the festivities.
"It is really about bringing the family out and doing healthy things together in the community," she said.
Murphy said the Turkey Trot was originally started by Mike Hamlin, a Cape Coral resident and founding member of the Fort Myers Track Club. He said he began the Turkey Trot to generate funds for the YMCA.
Thirteen years ago the Turkey Trot was relocated from a shopping center to Cape Coral Hospital.
Murphy said this year they changed the course to make the start line safer and easier for everyone. He said the USA Track and Field certified the distance for the new course.
"It is certainly more accurate and it was a safer course," Murphy said. "That course will not change, it will stay that course."
There was 3,500 bottles of water at the finish line to give out to those who finished and 200 gallons of water out on the course for participants to drink. Other drinks and food, which were also donated, were handed out to participants when they finished the course.
The overall male runner for the Turkey Trot was Fort Myers resident Ryan Stafford,18, who ran 16:35. Cape Coral resident Rachel Lee, 41, was the overall female runner with a time of 18:18.
The male master overall winner was David Zybowski, 40, from Denver, with a time of 18:00 and the female overall winner was Fort Myers resident Karen Miles, 58, with a time of 20:47.
The grand master male winner was Perry Small, 51, from Cape Coral with a time of 18:23. The female winner was Cape Coral resident Michelle Labarbera, 53, with a time of 22:20.
The senior grand masters of the Turkey Trot were North Fort Myers resident Louis Marjon, 66, with a time of 20:52, and Jeannie Rice, 63, from Mentor, Ohio, with a time of 22:40.
Derrick Erickson, 9, from Cape Coral earned first place in the male age division of 9 and under with a time of 23:31. The first place female winner was Cape Coral resident Sarah Schultz, 9, with a time of 24:59.
The first place male and female winners of the 10-12 age division respectively were Cape Coral resident Sean Kostyk, 12, with a time of 20:37, and Fort Myers resident Jenna Fedec, 11, with a time of 22:16.
Fort Myers residents Stephen Fedec,14, had a time of 18:17, and Emily Edwards, 15, had a time of 20:10, earning them first place in the 13-15 age division for the Turkey Trot.
The first place winners of the age division 16-19 were Cape Coral resident Alex Hernandez, 17, with a time of 17:03, and Fort Myers resident Rachel Petrik, 17, with a time of 18:25.
The first place male and female winners of the 20-24 age division were North Fort Myers resident Tyler Stowell, 22, with a time of 17:37, and Fort Myers resident Jamie Richter, 21, with a time of 21:06.
Danny Beaulieu, 25, from Helena, Ark., earned first place with a time of 18:04 for the 25-29 age division and Cameron Muhlenkamp, 25, from Carmel, Ind., earned first place with a time of 20:26.
The male and female participants who earned first place in the 20-43 age division were Fort Myers resident Ros Strong, 30, with a time of 17:49, and Cape Coral resident Sandrine Eveque, 34, with a time of 21:58.
Fort Myers resident Jeff East, 38, had a time of 17:53 and Lehigh Acres resident Amy Depauw, 39, had a time of 22:05 earning first place for the 35-39 age division.
The male and female winners for the 40-44 age division were Fort Myers resident Glen Button, 44, with a time of 18:12. and Fort Myers resident Samantha Stone, 43, with a time of 21:20.
Fort Myers resident Robert Brokaw, 48, had a time of 19:42 and Cape Coral resident Armandina Bromwell, 45, had a time of 21:10, making them the first place winners for the 45-49 age division.
The man and woman who placed first in the 50-54 age division were Cape Coral resident Andreas Boehm, 53, with a time of 18:37, and Jenny Stern, 54, from Charlotte, N.C., with a time of 24:01.
Fort Myers residents John Cassani, 59, had a time of 20:41, and Diane Sobel, 59, had a time of 26:01, to earn them first place for the 55-59 age division.
The male and female first place winners for the 60-64 age division were Fort Myers resident Edgar Girard, 63, with a time of 21:11, and Tracy McMul-len, 61, from Cincinnati, Ohio, with a time of 25:44.
Cape Coral resident Paul Wallander, 65, had a time of 24:25 and Fort Myers resident Jean O'Brien, 66, had a time of 29:49, to earn them first places in the 65-69 age division.
The male and female first place winners for the age division of 70 and older were Fort Myers resident Skip Mullaney, 72, with a time of 22:52, and Lehigh Acres resident Lis Heck-mann, 72, with a time of 30:54.