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Runners took part in the 28th Newfound Turkey Trot, including Kathryn Steele, center, who was using the event to spread awareness about her disease, LAM. (DAN SEUFERT/Union Leader Correspondent)

Hundreds turn out for annual Newfound Turkey Trot

BRIDGEWATER — It was a cold day for running, and it was the morning of Thanksgiving, but more than 200 people turned out for the 28th annual Newfound Turkey Trot at Newfound Grocery Thursday morning.

The event draws a lot of people each year because it benefits the area's Santa Fund. Residents "earn their turkey dinners" by running in the 20-degree temperatures, said Fred McLane, founder of the event as the former owner of Newfound Grocery.

"It's freezing out here," said McLane. "But we've done it in snow before, so this isn't so bad."

The store is now owned by Holly Emerson and Craig Hall, who also support the event.

By the end of the day Thursday, more than $6,500 had been raised by the runners, said Kathy Gickas of Hebron, a volunteer for the Santa Fund, which is the major beneficiary of funds raised from the run.

Money from the race also goes to help elderly people with holiday meals, she said.Santa Fund volunteers will use the money to buy presents for children in need at Christmas. Children from less-fortunate families will get gift baskets with toys and a week's worth of food, as well as turkey dinners."That way the money helps the whole family," she said.

Also running in this year's trot was former Bridgewater resident Kathryn Steele, whose parents still reside in the family home on Whittemore Point.

Steele was running to raise awareness of an often-fatal, destructive lung disease called lymphangioleiomyomatosis, or LAM.

Steele, who was just diagnosed in June, ran with a smile on her face Thursday.

"If nobody knows about the disease, how can we hope to find a cure for it?" she said.

To learn more about LAM, go to

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