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Salvation Army preps for return of Kettle Dash 5K
kettle dash
The annual Kettle Dash will return this year after a two-year hiatus to benefit the Turlock Salvation Army. It will be held on Oct. 22 at the Stanislaus State campus (Photo contributed).

For the first time since 2019, Turlock’s Salvation Army is preparing for the return of their annual Kettle Dash 5K run. The event, which will take place on Oct. 22 at 9 a.m., aims to raise funds for the local Salvation Army branch and its year-round charitable efforts.

This year’s festivities will look very different from year’s past. The previous eight Kettle Dash races took place in Downtown Turlock during the spring, but the event will now transition to the Stanislaus State campus. Kimberly Weese serves as the chair for the event and spoke about the special meaning for the change.

“We have a really big supporter of the Salvation Army, Donna Pierce. Her late husband, Wayne Pierce, founded what's called the Trans-California Pathway at the university… We thought what a great opportunity to bring more awareness to this pathway than to bring the Kettle Dash to the university and have people run through the pathway,” Weese said.

The Tran-California Pathway was first conceived by Wayne Pierce in the 1970s when he served as a botany professor at the institution. The goal of the pathway is to bring each one of California’s native plants into one huge garden for community members to enjoy and for Stan State students to study.

Weese believes that the upcoming Kettle Dash can be a win-win as attendees can learn and take in the beautiful atmosphere provided by the pathway while helping support local Salvation Army efforts.

“I'm just really excited to be able to bring the community to Stanislaus State and then bring awareness to the pathway,” Weese said. “That's what brought us to Stanislaus State. Not only community awareness, but the pathway is a very important part of Stan State and to our community as a whole.”

Participants can either run or walk the 5K. Single-person registration carries a fee of $35, teams of at least six runners can sign up for $25 per person and those under 18 years old can register for $25. Younger children can also get in on the fun through a free quarter mile run.

Captain Katie Breazeale of the Salvation Army Turlock Corp shared some of the programs that the proceeds can help support.

“Weekly, we probably have about 50 to 100 families come in for food boxes. We do utility assistance through a TID grant right now. We have our kids’ programs, we have an after-school program that's Monday through Friday, and during the summer we also have a seven-week summer day camp for them. We have a senior program that just restarted up last October and that's growing. We have our church services on Sundays with Bible study on Wednesday nights. We do Christmas food boxes and then toys for the kids 10 and under. Last year, we were able to help around 1,000 families and about 2,700 kids with the toys,” Breazeale said.

As the Kettle Dash will take place just over a week before Halloween, the group is also encouraging participants and attendees to come dressed in costumes. There will be costume contest for best individual costume and best team costumes.

Those interested in participating in the Kettle Dash can register ahead of time online by searching “Salvation Army Kettle Dash” on before Oct. 20. Those who registered online will be able to pick up their race numbers and shirts at Valley Heritage Realty at 400 E. Olive Ave., Turlock from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Oct. 21.

Same-day registration will also be offered, beginning an hour before the race start, at 8 a.m. in front of Fitzpatrick Arena at the Stanislaus State campus. The arena is also where the 5K will begin.

More information on the Salvation Army’s Kettle Dash can be found at