A chance to ‘gleaux’

Published 8:18 am Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The first annual “Gleaux-ing Turkey Trot” not only illuminated the wide-reaching effects of cancer, but it also raised money for the fight against the debilitating disease.

About 50 participants joined together for Saturday’s run, which was organized by volunteers with the Bogalusa Relay For Life. The event raised more than $1,700 for the American Cancer Society (ACS) to support cancer research and services for cancer patients.

Nicole Smith, ACS community manager for Washington Parish, said that the idea for the “gleaux run” was hatched about four weeks ago. Local volunteers had seen a similar event in Mandeville, in which runners and walkers join together at night to travel a short distance as a visible sign of their united fight against cancer.

The participants wear illuminated items, such as LED-flashing outfits or glow-sticks, which is why it is called a “gleaux run.” The local event Saturday night had an additional unique twist, as many participants dressed up in Thanksgiving-themed costumes as well.

Smith said that the event was started to help raise additional money for this year’s Relay For Life, which fell slightly short of its goal. Plans are already being developed to have another gleaux run next year.

“It was great to see the participation we had,” she said. “I think our youngest participant was 2.5 years old, and we had several survivors who were joined by their families.”

Participants started at Bogalusa Sports Complex and walked along Avenue B to the Catholic church, before turning around and coming back. The total distance was 1 mile. Bogalusa Police Department officers provided escorts to keep everyone safe.

Prior to the run itself, organizers sold t-shirts and Thanksgiving-themed treats including cookies, as well as sausage dogs. There was also a costume contest, with “The Butter Balls” winning the first prize of a frozen turkey from Food Depot.

Smith also thanked Double D Meat Company for donating the sausage dogs, the Ladies Loving Life cancer support group for making most of the treats, and Latter & Blum for sponsoring the event.

“It was great to see the wide range of people who came out to support cancer research, programs and services,” she said.