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South Orange County Nonprofits to Benefit from 2014 Dana Point Turkey Trot

The Dana Point Turkey Trot is a great South County tradition on Thanksgiving Day, and participating also directly supports some of South County’s most deserving non-profits.  The organizers behind the Turkey Trot have announced that proceeds from this year’s race will help support the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley, Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association and Family Assistance Ministries.  Congratulations to the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce and everyone involved with this great event.  The full press release is below:

DANA POINT, Calif.-Sept 30, 2014 - As the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce prepares for the 37th Annual Dana Point Turkey Trot, where thousands are expected to participate in the nation’s sixth largest Thanksgiving Day race, the organization also primes to continue its long-standing tradition of supporting local charities and nonprofits that make Orange County a better place for both residents and visitors.

“We are thrilled that in our 37 years of organizing the annual Turkey Trot, our charity partners have received more than $500,000 in donations, as 100 percent of our net income goes to support local nonprofits,” said Heather Johnston, Executive Director of the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce.

With the help of dedicated volunteers and donations, this year’s chosen charities-the Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley and Family Assistance Ministries-have been able to preserve a natural resource, to educate and inspire young students and to help locals get back on their feet.

The Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association, which is dedicated to protecting the state park’s beaches, facilities, marine refuge and its historical and cultural narratives, is the Chamber of Commerce’s newest charity partner. Not only is Doheny State Beach a part of the annual race route, it is also a direct benefactor of the Thanksgiving Day run’s proceeds.

Donated funds will help provide visitors a free educational resource at the newly reopened Visitor Center, complete with aquariums and regional mammal and bird displays. DSBIA also supports local school’s curriculum-based field trips to the state park’s butterfly garden, estuary and tide pools.

“DSBIA is thrilled and honored to be made a partner in the 2014 Dana Point Turkey Trot,” said Ed Neely, president of the Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association. “This is one more brick in the wall strengthening the ongoing relationship between Doheny State Beach and Dana Point. We have a growing history of shared activities that support allowing Doheny and its interpretive association to become important resources to our local and extended community.”

Each year, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley serves more than 2,000 south Orange County students through after-school programming at its three locations in San Juan Capistrano, Aliso Viejo and Rancho Santa Margarita. These neighborhood-based locales provide a safe environment where young kids are encouraged to learn and grow with the help of trained professionals who provide educational tutoring, sports and art activities, health and wellness programs, mentoring and more.

“The Chamber of Commerce is a champion for the vitality of our community and nothing makes us prouder than being able to help our fellow nonprofits,” Johnston said.

Family Assistance Ministries, a San Clemente-based nonprofit, helped its first client avoid eviction in Sept. 1999. By providing rental assistance, the organization prevented homelessness and within a month the aid recipient was employed and self-sufficient. Ever since, FAM has assisted numerous others by providing shelter, utility and transportation help, financial counseling and medical screenings. In 2013 alone, FAM also redistributed $1.7 million in food and sheltered 60 women in transitional housing.

Participants in the 37th Annual Dana Point Turkey Trot can donate to these area charities during the registration process. And donations can also be made by visiting

To find out more about the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley, More information about Family Assistance Ministries can be found And learn about the Doheny State Beach Interpretive Association online at For additional information about the 37thAnnual Dana Point Turkey Trot and to register for the races visit, and follow the event on Twitter at and Facebook at

About the 37th Annual Dana Point Turkey Trot:

Produced by the Dana Point Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Run Racing, the Dana Point Turkey Trot is the nation’s sixth largest Thanksgiving Day run in the country. Named a top Thanksgiving destination by Fodor’s Travel and one of America’s best Thanksgiving runs by Fitness Magazine, the Dana Point Turkey Trot has become an Orange County tradition, attracting more than 17,000 participants, including friends and family, in its 5K, 10K and Kids’ Gobble Wobble runs, as well as a two-day health and fitness expo. Featuring scenic routes through the picturesque Dana Point Harbor and Doheny State Beach, the Turkey Trot offers something for every member of the family. Since its conception, the Dana Point Turkey Trot has raised over half a million dollars for local nonprofits. The Dana Point Turkey Trot is a USA Track & Field (USATF) sanctioned and certified event. For more information, to register for a race, or to become a sponsor, visit

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