Bitterroot Turkey Trots to raise funds for local pantries | Local News


A not-so-wild turkey will be seen wandering the streets of Stevensville, Darby and Hamilton this week and next to gobble up a little funds for food banks. 

The Bitterroot Valley Turkey Trot raises money for local food banks by seeking cash or check donations to the Sapphire Lutheran Homes’ Horn of Plenty. But this year there’s a twist.

“We are doing the first annual Turkey Trot at Sapphire Lutheran Homes,” said Dominic Farrenkopf, director of community life. “It is an attempt to be a part of the community, not apart from it. Our community life seeks to build faithful and active community partnerships.”

He said the community outreach events usually involve several different departments at the care facility in Hamilton, but this event only involves the community life department and just him – dressed like a turkey.

He will travel with his Horn of Plenty throughout the Bitterroot Valley: Wednesday in Stevensville, Thursday in Darby, and Friday in Hamilton. The funds will go to that town’s food bank – Pantry Partners, Darby Bread Box, and Haven House.

Farrenkopf said his wife, Hannah, modified a moose suit to create the full-size turkey costume.

“She added feet, beak, and tail feathers,” Farrenkopf said. “I think it looks wonderful. When you see the turkey, stop and put a buck or two in the Horn of Plenty – that’s the request of the turkey.”

Farrenkopf said he would be collecting for the food banks into next week also.

“I’m certainly trying to inspire people to give; it is the season that we’re in,” he said. “It’s the season to give. If it inspired youth and moved them to put money in the Horn of Plenty, I would definitely accept their offering.”

Farrenkopf said his efforts will be successful even if this just brings a smile to someone.

“Even it just makes them say ‘Hey, there are a lot of people who care in the community and this is a way I can contribute,’” he said. “Not everybody gets to events where they can bring a can of food for admission. Not everybody has a chance to make it to the food bank. Hopefully, they bump into the turkey, peal a dollar or two off, and put it into the Horn of Plenty.”

“Do I look like a turkey?” he asked.

Farrenkopf said donations can be given directly to the food banks or to Sapphire Lutheran Homes at 501 No. Tenth St. in Hamilton.

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