Running Forward to Give Back

By Natalie MAIER

Senator Carol Liu and L.A. County Supervisor Mike Antonovich are two guest speakers that will be at the La Cañada Flintridge Community Center’s 19th annual Thanksgiving Day 5K Run and Food Drive. The race, sponsored by Ross Dress for Less, will begin at 8:30 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 22, at Memorial Park in La Cañada Flintridge.

All ages and abilities are welcome to take part in the annual Thanksgiving event, as well as pets on leashes and kids in strollers. Participants are encouraged to bring non-perishable food to donate to the food drive.

“We ask people to be generous in this time of need and for them to run forward to give back,” said Amanda Balcazar, program director of the LCFCC and coordinator of the 5K run.

Pre-registration is available online at for $35 until Monday, Nov. 19 and will guarantee participates a T-shirt. On-site registration begins at 6:30 a.m. the day of the run and will be $40. T-shirts will be subject to availability. Children, ages 12 and under, can participate in the 1 Mile Kids Run for $15 with Coach Andy from Assist Athletics. All kids will receive a medal.

The International Superstars of Rock, a local band, will be playing live music starting at 7 a.m.

Awards will be presented to the winners of each age division, as well as the grand prize given to the participant who reaches the finish line first.

According to Balcazar, the Thanksgiving 5K Run is the biggest fundraiser for the La Cañada Flintridge Community Center. In past years it has raised between $15,000 and $20,000. The money goes toward keeping the LCFCC active and running.

Balcazar stressed the need for more volunteers to distribute water and snacks to the runners, to help with registration and to hand out awards to the kids. Anyone interested in volunteering can contact Balcazar at

Between 1,200 and 1,500 participants are expected to attend the race this year, said Balcazar.

“This year we are hoping to have an amazing turn out,” she said. “We want everyone to have fun.”

On the day of the race, street parking will be available and participants are encouraged to arrive early.