The ninth annual Turkey Trot Los Angeles 5K and 10K is expected to attract thousands to DTLA on Thanksgiving.
A collaborative between USA-UAE United and The Midnight Mission, the event hopes to raise $100,000 to fight homelessness in Los Angeles.
The United Arab Emirates Consulate General of Los Angeles is the sponsor for the sixth consecutive year. It will match the participants’ donations, up to $20,000.
UAE Consul General in LA Hazza Alkaabi said Turkey Trot recognizes shared values between the UAE and United States over the last 50 years.
“One of those values that is important is serving your community,” Alkaabi said. “This is a principle that is instilled deeply in UAE culture. Everybody back home is looking after neighbors, friends and less-fortunate people.”
To help the less fortunate in Los Angeles, the organization is partnering with The Midnight Mission. For more than a century, The Midnight Mission has offered services such as development programs and training for family living and jobs. G. Michael Arnold, president and chief executive officer of The Midnight Mission, views the Turkey Trot as a way to share the values of the Thanksgiving holiday with the underserved.
“Thanksgiving is all about having a lot to eat and being with your family,” Arnold said.
“Those are two key elements that people experiencing homelessness don’t have. It’s also a time for people to recognize and give thanks for the bounty that they have in their lives. People are always looking for a way to give back. Thanksgiving feels better when you’re able to share. Thanksgiving is a great opportunity that provides us the ability to make sure that there’s no one going hungry on the streets of Skid Row, that there’s no one cold at night on the streets of Skid Row, as well as enroll people around the issue of homelessness. It’s become — and has been for a long time — a very big issue here in Los Angeles. It combines that ability to enjoy and relish the fact that you have a lot of food, you have a family that you can go to, as well as feel like you’re sharing that experience with agencies that are able to step out and provide that.”
The route begins at City Hall and takes participants around Grand Park, the Disney Concert Hall, the Broad Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and Spring Street. Athletes may take part virtually as well.
“There are people that want to participate that don’t live in LA,” said Brennan Linder, co-founder and president of Generic Events.
“This provides an opportunity to help fundraise for the Midnight Mission and make a difference but also participate in something greater than themselves. They get the shirt and the medal in the mail, and there’s the Runkeeper App that tracks where they’re going so they get a result.”
Kids ages 2 to 12 may participate in the “Widdle Wobble,” which consists of a small run around Grand Park as well as a kid zone with other activities.
The event begins with the 5K at 8 a.m., followed by the 10K at 9 a.m. Race packets may be picked up beginning at 6:45 a.m. Registration starts at $45, and the highest donation over $2,000 will win a vacation to The Ridge on Sedona Golf Course in Sedona, Arizona.
All participants will receive a shirt, medal and bib. For more information, visit