Droves of runners and walkers brave the cold, participate in Michael Edward Bratton II Turkey Trot | TheUnion.com

Droves of runners and walkers brave the cold, participate in Michael Edward Bratton II Turkey Trot

A little inclement weather wasn’t going to stop the 14th annual Michael Edward Bratton II Turkey Trot.

“It just means so much. They just come and come. We have so much community support,” said Mike Bratton, who, along with his family, started the Turkey Trot in 2006 after his son Michael Edward Bratton II committed suicide at the age of 25.

Droves of runners and walkers braved the cold and started the Thanksgiving Day trot under falling snow before finishing it under blue skies.

“It’s so emotional for me to stand up there and say my message, and then we walked outside and it was snowing,” said Bratton. “It was perfect because they were nice snowflakes, no wind, and everybody had a smile on their face. Wow, what a day.”

The large amounts of snow did force the race to modify from its usual 5K and 10K course to a smaller 2.5K and 5K course which started at Nevada Union High School and traversed a nearby neighborhood.

Bratton said there were 1,800 pre-registered runners and walkers, and estimated around 1,000 participated in this year’s trot.

“People came and it was snowing. And, you can see as they come in, they are all smiling and ready for their turkey day,” said Bratton.

The Turkey Trot is a major fundraiser for the MEB2 Foundation, which is a nonprofit organization funded by local community and business support. The foundation’s primary focus is to support local youth activities, Anew Day, and suicide and depression awareness and prevention in Nevada County.

“The Turkey Trot has really helped to dissolve the stereotypes out there and helped people get the treatment they need, and not be ashamed of it,” Anew Day Executive Director Lori Nunnink-Taylor said. “That has really increased our visibility, as well as the services we provide. Financially we couldn’t do it without the Turkey Trot. It helps us keep our doors open. Every year it generates a huge amount of funds for us, which benefit our clients and helps us provide services at a low cost and for free.”

The MEB2 Foundation also supports programs like NEO and the Friendship Club as well as other youth activities and sports programs.

The event has raised more than $600,000 for its various causes since its inception.

Bratton addressed the crowd before the start of the trot, speaking of his son Michael and his families’ mission to bring about awareness,

“My message today is: there is hope.”

To learn more about the Turkey Trot and the MEB2 Foundation visit http://www.meb2turkeytrot.com. To learn more about Anew Day visit http://www.anew-day.com.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email wford@theunion.com or call 530-477-4232.

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