Turkey Trot ‘21: Students Team Up for Triumph


Winner of the Turkey Trot 21′: Mr. Sansone and his dedicated Marching Band!

To spice up Thanksgiving festivities at Becton, a new tradition emerged, known as the Turkey Trot! As part of this first annual event, faculty and staff engaged in a friendly competition to raise money for the Freshman and Sophomore classes. First, a Google Form was sent out to staff to collect participants and gain a sense of interest for the fundraiser. A bulletin board was posted in the school’s main entrance beside the JW PAC. It was characterized by turkeys with staff pictures as the turkey’s faces; some were silly and others were serious to win. In regards to how the fundraising worked, each dollar raised equaled a feather to decorate the staff turkeys. The staff member with the most feathers on their turkey by Nov. 23 got to dress up in a turkey costume and make special appearances throughout the school day. The stiff competition roused chatter in the building, enticing students to rally for their picks.

The final results for the turkey trot were posted on the bulletin board by the JW PAC.

Mrs. Stacey Oram, one of Becton’s best Special Education teachers, placed as the runner-up in the Turkey Trot fundraiser. Ironically, Oram did not submit her name into the competition; she was anonymously nominated by someone else. Contrary to her expectations, she racked up more feathers than a majority of everyone who participated! Oram shared that she and other teachers would laugh at how many feathers were being added over the course of the contest. As for the driving force of the contest, students’ loyalty proved true to their teachers. Oram expressed that the most memorable part of the Turkey Trot was “…how excited my students were getting and how expressive they were. My students and I have a great relationship, so this was fun.” Beyond adding how shocked Oram was by her students’ drive to see her in a turkey costume, she had a great time serving as a main driving force behind the fundraiser! 

In first place was Mr. Thomas Sansone, having raised almost $300 under his name by his

Mr. Sansone posing with all of his feathers his students donated! Ms. Calasso even invented a “gold” feather for him!

students. When he first signed up, he expected tight competition between teachers. However, he shared, “…my students quickly made sure that nobody else had a chance at winning.” Among feelings of happiness and confusion, Sansone made his way running around and lightening the moods of everyone he encountered. He felt not only supported by every student that raised money just to see him in a turkey costume, but also by other teachers for letting him visit their classrooms to boost student morale. He even made a special appearance at the NHS Spelling Bee between Becton and Rutherford High School students hosted in the JW PAC. “My most memorable moment was [probably] making an appearance at the spelling bee…I wanted to act like I got ‘lost’ and ended up on stage. I think my special appearance alleviated some stress there as well.” It certainly did, as laughs erupted throughout the auditorium and confused expressions painted NHS students’ faces. Besides making appearances at not only the Spelling Bee but also the Senior Thanksgiving Feast celebration, Sansone incorporated a personal aspect into his day of shenanigans with his marching band students. “I would see one of my students down the hall, and then I would ‘fly away’ as they chased me, but I would find good places to hide. My students said, ‘It should not be this hard to find an almost 6’ tall man in a turkey costume.’” He expresses gratitude by saying, “I would like to thank my marching band students and anyone else who donated for being so supportive and raising so much money!” Clearly, Sansone’s relationship with his students goes beyond loyalty and translates into numbers.

The 2021 Turkey Trot certainly proved to be a successful and enjoyable fundraiser for the Freshman and Sophomore classes. The event emitted themes of friendly competition, humor, and of course, thankfulness. Due to its success, this year’s Turkey Trot will undoubtedly not be Becton’s last. The festivities offered a smooth, happy transition into Thanksgiving break for everyone in the Becton Community to celebrate thankfulness at home with friends and family.