SPARTA, NJ - A huge crowd cheered more than 2,000 participants during the 2013 Sparta Education Foundation Krogh's Turkey Trot 5K Run, 1-Mile Fun Run and 5K Walk on Thanksgiving morning.  

This event has become the annual "tradition before the tradition." One of the signature fundraising events for the Sparta Education Foundation, to benefit Sparta's public schools.

Bayleigh Takacs said, "I enjoyed running the Turkey Trot with my friends. It felt good to do something to help out our schools." 

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The Sparta Education Foundation is an independent, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization comprised entirely of volunteers who are committed to encouraging philanthropic support of our schools. Their mission is to raise funds make ongoing charitable contributions that enrich the educational experience of children in the Sparta Public Schools.  The event brings families, individuals, and local businesses together in the spirit of giving back to the community.  

Robert Fuchs, Krogh's Restaurant and Brew Pub owner, remarked, "At Krogh's Restaurant & Brew Pub, it is our honor to sponsor the Turkey Trot.  Seven years have passed since the beginning of the Turkey Trot and I am always impressed as event gets more popular each year.  For us this has become a Fuchs family tradition, as my entire family, along with other dedicated employees, work tirelessly each Thanksgiving morning.  We arrive at work very early Thanksgiving morning, and love watching as the plaza fills with runners, and family and friends fill Krogh's to warm up, and watch the event begin and then celebrate when the runners have finished.  It is our humble honor to be a part of this 'tradition, before the tradition,' and it is my sincere hope that this wonderful event continues with success and grows each and every year."  

“The Turkey Trot is one of my favorite Team Eastern group events. There’s so much energy and excitement in the air that morning.  This year we had about 150 of us in our stand out yellow and what makes it extra special is that so many of our family members join in the fun. It’s becoming a tradition for so many of us,' said Laura DeLea, Team Eastern Co-Captain.

Alexandra Miller said, "the sense of community that I see at the Turkey Trot -- where thousands of people gather for a peaceful and joyful occasion - is one of the reasons I love living in this community.  It’s a nice, flat course by most 5K standards, which lends for good times for those of us who choose to gallop over a trot!   For myself, I think athletic competition is one of the simple joys of being human, and so I have fun with the effort of continually trying to improve my times. As for this year -- two minutes behind last year. Perhaps too much pasta the night before."

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Alexandra Miller went on to say, "As Gold Sponsors for the Turkey Trot, we asked that the Sparta Education Foundation earmark all of our donation money to go toward the Sparta High School Robotics team. Thorlabs is committed to promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education for the children of Sussex County." 

"We made this race a 'robotics race' through a creative fundraiser. We gave the Sussex County robotics teams an opportunity to raise $300 for their club if at least seven students from their teams participated in the race. This way we were promoting robotics, the Turkey Trot, and the value of fresh air and exercise all at once. This unique idea came from Alex Cable, founder and president of Thorlabs. Five robotics teams took advantage of this opportunity and showed up with a team -- Vernon High School, Newton High, Sparta Middle School, Sussex Technical School and High Point Regional High School."  

"As Gold Sponsor, Thorlabs was offered the small honor of having an employee announce the start of the race.  We chose to use the opportunity to promote robotics teams and STEM education in the county by passing on that honor to Mr. Jim Hoffman, who is not an employee but is the coach of the Newton High School robotics team."

Silver sponsors include Highpoint Solutions, Lake Mohawk Country Club, Dan Corrigan- ReMax Realty, School Craft Studios, Pine Cone Chiropractic, Newton Medical Center, Eastern Propane, Sparta Elementary School Staff, Lakeland Bank, Villa Capri II, Realty Executives, Krave Caterers, Dykstra Associates, PC, Residential Home Funding Corp.

Bronze sponsors include Augies Brooklyn Balges and Deli, C3 Workplace, Coldwell Banker--Julie Killen, First Hope Bank, Gabriel Perry Salon, Highlands State Bank, Inspire FItness, John L and Grace P Soldoveri Foundation, Laddey, Clark & Ryan, LLP, Attorneys at Law, The Liquor Factory, PNC Bank, Royal Coachman Workdwide, St. Moritz Grill and Bar, Sharpe Plumbing and Heating, Skyland Medical Group, PA, Sparta Athletic Club/The Field House at Sparta, Sparta Elks #2356, Sparta Driving School, Sussex Bike and Sport Shop, Wellness Pediatrics, Weichert Realtors--Dawn Corbo and Ruth Linn.

Music was provided by R.E.N.O.

Bruce Murphy reflected, “I look forward to the Turkey Trot every year.  Everyone is always in a great mood and all the volunteers do a fantastic job.  It’s amazing to see the size and scale of the event having watched it grow over the years.”

Race results can be viewed at

For more about Sparta Education Foundation