NEWPORT BEACH — Thanksgiving is still about a week away, but on turkeys were everywhere at Ensign Intermediate School.
The Newport Beach seventh- and eighth-grade school held its seventh annual Turkey Trot fundraiser Friday.
"The Turkey Trot is going really well," Principal Gloria Duncan said. "Lots of students participated. Many parents are here, coming and going. It's really been a nice event to bring the parents and students together."
Students in physical education shorts and special Turkey Trot T-shirts — featuring a funky turkey printed on the front — stretched out on the blacktop before running a mile. All the students participated in the trot during their regular P.E. classes.
A deejay provided the soundtrack and parents spread out around the course to snap photographs and cheer on the runners.
The Turkey Trot is the Ensign PTA's major fundraiser of the year and will help pay for the school's science program and nature academy, Duncan said.
The event will also help fund library programs, Red Ribbon Week and P.E. equipment, said Beth Blower, PTA chairwoman of the Turkey Trot.
Every student collects donations door to door. Special prizes donated by local businesses are given to students who go above and beyond.
"We have a lot of community support," said PTA President Lea Tamblyn. "I think it brings the community together."
The event brought in $21,000 last year. Blower said they hope to raise more this year.
The students run the mile every Friday, but doing it for the Turkey Trot added a different atmosphere to the routine event.
"Everyone tries their hardest," said eighth-grader Joselyn Tapia, 13, as she prepared to run during fourth period. "It just, like, pumps everyone up."
Joselyn and her classmate, Shanelle Serrato, 14, also said participating in the fundraiser feels good. They said they like helping out their school.
They also hope to see the gains of their hard work, especially in the form of basketballs.
"We're looking forward to new equipment," Joselyn said.