For the past four years, Jane Lizotte has run the Boston Marathon with her sister and brother in memory of their father, the Honorable Francis P. O'Connor, to raise money for the Alzheimer's Association.
O'Connor, who served as a justice on the Massachusetts Supreme Court for several years, died of complications from Alzheimer's Disease five years ago.
Last year, Lizotte decided to bring the race home to Shrewsbury, and on Thanksgiving because it was her dad's favorite holiday.
"My dad was a wonderful man who, in his words, 'felt blessed to be surrounded by a loving family and a wonderful community.' My dad's favorite activities included spending time with his family, attending mass at St. Mary's, working in his garden, and doing just about anything outside. He absolutely loved Thanksgiving because it is a holiday that brings people from all walks of life together."
Coordinating the Turkey Trot for Memory, it consists of committee members Dave Lizotte, Jim Heald, Dana Canzano, Glen Lucchese, Liam Davidson and Amy Kotsopoulos.
The Turkey Trot raises money for the Alzheimer Association's Massachusetts and New Hampshire chapters.
Taking place on Thanksgiving morning starting at 8 a.m., both the 5-mile run and 2-mile fun run/walk start from Shrewsbury Common. Register for either race here.
Last year, more than 500 runners joined the Trot, proving Lizotte's dad's theory that the holiday truly can bring all walks of life together.
"My father and mother were servants of the community in so many ways," said Lizotte. "Though they had 10 children of their own, they were quick to invite people in need to have a meal at the kitchen table or stay a few nights or longer. My dad would often be heard saying that you can tell a lot more about a person from the kitchen he or she grew up in than any school attended or degree received. He really believed that and made sure his influence was felt throughout each week in our busy home."