By Kristina Pritchett
As the annual Turkey Trot approaches, Dana Point residents are gearing up to continue their tradition of volunteering at the Thanksgiving event.
Dave Duree, with Preferred Solutions in Dana Point, has been volunteering since at least 2000.
“It’s probably been before that,” Duree said. “I don’t remember what year I started.”
Every year Duree can be found at the registration table the day of the event and the night before.
“I work registration, and it’s the only thing I’ve done,” Duree said.
He said he enjoys the responsibility of the task.
“When I first started, there was a lot more cash being handled, and it just has a good sense of responsibility,” Duree said.
He said he really enjoys seeing the energy from the runners and the vibe everyone brings to the event.
“I see the same people running every year. There’s the families that bring their young kids. There’s the kids that would come that now have their own families,” Duree said. “It’s being a part of the community, and being able to witness all of that.”
Jay Renkowitz, a Dana Point resident, began volunteering for the event when his son, a high school student at the time, need volunteering hours.
“I did it with him, and have been volunteering since,” Renkowitz said. “That was about 10 or 12 years ago.”
Renkowitz has volunteered at the starting line, giving out water to the runners and has been helping with parking the last few years.
“I enjoy it because it’s giving back to the community,” Renkowitz said. “I ran it a few times, and someone was there to volunteer for me, and now it’s my turn.”
This year, Renkowitz said he will be assisting with parking from 5:30-8:30 a.m.
A year that sticks out in his mind is when he was able to ride a bike through the course to start the race.
“Everyone was cheering, and it was really fun,” Renkowitz said.
Turkey Trot is held on Thanksgiving every year. The event will be in the Dana Point Harbor. For information or to sign up, visit www.turkeytrot.com.