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Overnight rain doesn’t dampen spirits at Community Center’s 25th annual Thanksgiving Run

Heavy rains that hit La Cañada the night before Thanksgiving cleared just in time for nearly 1,300 adult and youth runners to enjoy the Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge’s 25th annual Thanksgiving Day Run and Food Drive.

Community Center Director Maureen Bond — who had to contend last year with a 90-degree heatwave — said forecasts of rain may have kept people indoors but did not deter some 1,000 adults and hundreds of children from participating in the organization’s silver anniversary event.

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“It was a beautiful day for a run,” Bond said Tuesday. “We tarped everything the day before, which really saved us.”

First place among male runners competing in the 5K race was Glendale’s J.D. Kieffer, who finished in 15 minutes, 49 seconds. Four seconds later San Francisco resident Jason Karbelk secured a second-place win, while Spencer Geck of La Crescenta placed third with a time of 15 minutes, 58 seconds.

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Newhall resident Grace Graham-Zamudio placed first among female runners, finishing in 17 minutes, 33 seconds. In second place, South Pasadena’s Chloe Fata came in at 17 minutes, 48 seconds while La Crescenta resident Emily Vincent placed third with 19 minutes, 14 seconds.

La Cañada Mayor Terry Walker welcomed the crowd, while Mayor Pro Tem Len Pieroni and his family participated in the race. State Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) commemorated the event’s 25th anniversary with a special certificate of recognition, and the Los Angeles County Fire Department thrilled audiences with a helicopter flyover.

The food drive, benefiting the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station’s annual holiday food and toy giveaway, raised a record amount of items and cash donations totaling $2,050.

“It was a really great event,” Bond said.

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