Start Thanksgiving Day off on the right foot at the Applied Materials “Silicon Valley Turkey Trot”. Before the big games, the big meal, the parades and the pies, why not get in a little exercise with a few thousand neighbors? It’s an event the whole family will enjoy! Many have made the “run” or “walk” a Thanksgiving Day tradition.
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On Thanksgiving morning, 2004, Carl and Leslee Guardino heard a radio report announcing “20,000 people downtown running and walking to benefit the needy” in Sacramento. Carl turned to Leslee and said, “Somebody ought to do a race like that here.” Leslee gave Carl that look that said, “Maybe that somebody should be us.”
Reaching out to Bob Brownstein at Working Partnerships, a think-tank arm of the Central Labor Council, a partnership was formed. Several months later, a major milestone occurred when Joe Pon of Applied Materials successfully championed to the company the idea of Applied serving as the Multi-Year Title Sponsor. With a title sponsor, and then several branded co-sponsors, the Applied Materials “Silicon Valley Turkey Trot “was born.
Three great local charities serving local residents – Healthier Kids Foundation Santa Clara County, Housing Trust Silicon Valley and Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties –were initially selected as multi-year beneficiaries, and a volunteer Executive Steering Committee started planning the first race, set for Thanksgiving Day, 2005.
The event blossomed beyond everyone’s wildest imagination.