A Work of Heart

For over three decades, the ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot has proudly worn the title of Austin’s favorite Thanksgiving tradition.

There are so many details that make the Turkey Trot as special and supported as it is, including the Turkey Trot T-Shirts.

Dozens of Austinites submit their designs in the ThunderCloud Subs Turkey Trot Art Contest every year, all competing for a year’s worth of subs and for their art to be featured on over 20,000 event T-shirts, guides, social media, and much more.

This year’s winner, Terri Fann, said she created her design to showcase the beautiful partnership between the Turkey Trot and Caritas of Austin.

Since the first race in 1991, ThunderCloud Subs has donated the proceeds from the event to Caritas of Austin in support of our mission to prevent and end homelessness in Greater Austin. In the past 32 years, the event has made a profound impact in the community and raised over $4.5 million to house people experiencing homelessness and help rebuild well-being in thousands of lives.

A longtime volunteer in Caritas’s Community Kitchen, Terri has seen the impact of this collaboration firsthand.

“I never felt like I was volunteering,” Terri said. “It’s such an honor and a treat to be able to be in the kitchen. I felt incredibly blessed, and the more I learned about Caritas, the more I loved and appreciated it.”

Through an email from Caritas of Austin, Terri read about the opportunity to volunteer at the Turkey Trot. She started volunteering at Packet Pick Up and continued to volunteer for six more years.

“I remember seeing hundreds of people come and pick up their packet,” Terri said. “I got to see their reaction, their excitement, and how the Turkey Trot and Caritas really work together.”

This year, she decided to capture this partnership and her joy in volunteering on paper.

As a self-proclaimed left-brained individual, she never imagined that her design would win, but she is humbled and ecstatic at the chance to see her work featured on 20,000 runners Thanksgiving morning and to participate in the event so close to her heart.

As she reflects on her time volunteering, Terri said that the real blessing is giving back to the community.

“I may not be changing the whole world with my efforts,” Terri said. “But I am helping my community. And I think volunteering with Caritas and ThunderCloud Subs has changed me.”

There’s still time for you to make a change in your community, too, and join Terri at this family-friendly Austin tradition on Thanksgiving morning by registering for the in-person or virtual 5-mile run/walk, 1-mile walk, or Stepping Stone School Kids K. You can also sign up to volunteer. By gathering your flock to run or volunteer, you are helping make homelessness rare, brief and nonrecurring for our neighbors!

If you think you have what it takes to be a winning artist for the Trot, look for the official rules on ThunderCloud Subs website and submit your art after Nov. 17 and before the deadline of Jan. 9.

**The ThunderCloud Subs team and Race Coordinators are working with the City of Austin and Austin Public Health to follow appropriate COVID-19 safety protocols for this year’s event. As with many local events, guidelines are frequently changing and participants will be informed of guidelines closer to the event.