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Residents ready to run in the cash for Kettle Dash
Kettle Dash
Runners from last year's Kettle Dash ran around downtown while raising funds for the Salvation Army.

Despite fundraising $34,000 less than two months ago through the inaugural Dancing with the Turlock Stars event, the Salvation Army fundraising committee is still bringing in the bucks by breaking fundraising goals for its next event: The fourth annual Kettle Dash.

The committee hoped to have the race expenses paid prior to the day of the event, and they exceeded that goal with nearly $9,000 in sponsorship contributions alone going straight to the Salvation Army.

“Our sponsorship is three times what it was last year,” said Event Chair Nick Hackler who also serves on the Salvation Army Advisory Committee.

This means that any runner who registers on the day of the race will be directly contributing to the Salvation Army.

The Kettle Dash offers runners of all shapes and sizes the opportunity to support their community through a kids’ dash, 5K and 10K race, as well as this year’s newly added dog walk through the help of sponsor Monte Vista Small Animal Hospital.

While the course has changed every year since the event’s inception, the committee hopes to stick with this year’s route in the future. After noting people stayed downtown after last year’s race to eat and browse through shops, the committee thought it would prove beneficial to local business owners to keep the race downtown. In turn, the starting line has been shifted across the train tracks to the intersection of West Main Street and Broadway in front of Dust Bowl Brewing Company. Dust Bowl, which will be open along with Memo’s Cocina & Tequila Bar from which people can dine and watch the race, will be even offering a special Kettle Dash themed brew the day of the race.

“We just want to create a good atmosphere that will encourage people to stay downtown and spend money to support the local economy,” said Hackler.

Runners will perform a loop downtown before heading towards the fairgrounds and then back to the starting line. The 5K runners will run the route once and the 10K runners will do it twice. The kids’ free fun run includes a 400 meter dash and the dog walk is 1K in length.

The annual Kettle Dash is intentionally set to occur before the Salvation Army’s annual Kettle Kickoff luncheon, an event centered on the Kettle Klash — seven minutes of organized chaos as volunteer teams race around the room with red Salvation Army kettles aiming to collect as many cash donations as possible. The Kettle Kickoff is the Salvation Army’s largest event each year and fortifies the organization for months with funds mainly going towards the Army’s winter relief efforts.

“This is our dash to the luncheon,” said Hackler.

The Kettle Dash will take place on Saturday with registration and t-shirt pick up from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Those who have already registered, or would like to do so early, can head to Century 21 today from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 331 East Main Street in downtown Turlock.

The event will kick off with the kids’ free fun run at 8:45 a.m. followed by the walk or run 5K at 9 a.m. as well as the 10K run. The 1K dog walk will take place at 10 a.m.