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O’Briley Turkey Trot raises more than $14,300 for charitable donations

Laurie McKenna from Canton’s Dollars for Scholars accepts a $500 donation from the O’Briley 5K Turkey Trot and organizers Mike Riley, center, and Colin O’Brien.

CANTON, December 14 – Thanksgiving morning was a cold one in Collinsville this year. It was about 13 degrees with a slight wind that made it seem chiller.

But runners and volunteers still came out for the seventh annual O’Briley 5K Turkey Trot. A 162 hearty runners raced that morning and helped raise money for the Lupus Foundation of America and Canton’s Dollars for Scholars.

Race co-founders and organizers Colin O’Brien and Mike Riley recently presented a check for $500 to Laurie McKenna of the Dollars for Scholars organization.

After expenses, the race raised $6,922 and with a company match from an employer, the race was able to donate $13,845 to the Lupus Foundation of America. O’Brien works for Bristol Myers Squibb, who matches the donation.

O’Brien and Riley wanted to again thank the many people that make the race possible including sponsors Jules Poirier Company and Ward Kilduff Mortage. They wanted to thank Stephanie May who donates the trophies each year.

They wanted to personally thank Canton Police Chief Christopher Arciero and his officers on the Canton Police Department for their help along with Ted Shafer, First Selectman in Burlington and the town of Burlington for their assistance.

O’Brien and Riley wanted to thank Tim O’Donnell, the cross country and track and field coach at Canton High who has been graciously assisting in the timing of the race. O’Donnell coordinates volunteers from the Canton cross country program to help with the timing.

“We want to thank the public, our friends, neighbors and community for continuing to support this event and in turn the charities that we are able to generously contribute to annually,” O’Brien said.

Canton High graduate Max Sparks won this year’s race with a time of 16:29.3 over a 3.0 mile course.

Mary Lynn Currier won the women’s race for the second time in three years with a time of 21:29. Currier, a world-class marathon runner who grew up in West Hartford, ran the race because her son, Patrick, who attended Canton Intermediate School and later Lewis Mills in Burlington, wanted to run the event.

Race results: https://runsignup.com/Race/Results/39663/#resultSetId-138711

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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