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Annual Turkey Trot brings community together on Thanksgiving

Once of western Nevada County’s most popular Thanksgiving Day traditions returns Thursday at Nevada Union High School with the 17th annual Michael Bratton II Turkey Trot.
The event serves not only as a kickstart to turkey day, offering an opportunity to make way for a feast with a 5-kilometer walk/run or 10K run, it’s also become a reunion of sorts with hundreds of people reconnecting for a good and important cause.
Local businessman, and community leader, Mike Bratton and his family have organized this event to raise awareness for suicide and depression awareness and raise funds for Anew Day and local youth activities.
Bratton’s son, Michael, tragically took his own life. The annual turkey trot is a memorial to Michael in hopes of helping other community members to avoid experiencing the devastation of suicide and to support those who offer help to people in such crisis situations.
Years earlier, before the first Turkey Trot took the course, Bratton bravely spoke to the community at Nevada Union’s Ali Gymnasium to share his family’s tragedy in hopes of touching others to get the help they need.
“My son (Michael) committed suicide,” Bratton said that night in 2009. “And that’s something that’s so often covered up and hidden because of the embarrassment. My son committed suicide, you know, so did I do something wrong? It’s just had that stigma.
“It’s an every moment, in-your-face, life-lasting reality. It’s something that never goes away, the aftermath and devastating effects of suicide. But it has to be talked about. People have to know. We don’t want it to be glorified, what my son did, but people have to know.
“The message has got to be clear, suicide is not the answer.”
Registration for this year’s event, held at Nevada Union’s Hooper Stadium, 11761 Ridge Road, Grass Valley, begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by a children’s race at 8:15 a.m. and the actual Turkey Trot at 8:30 a.m. Entry fee is $25.
For more information on the Turkey Trot or the MEB2 Foundation, which sponsor Anew Day, local youth activities, and suicide and depression awareness, visit, email or call 530-278-8361.

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