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Running for a Cause – The Wheeler Mission Drumstick Dash 2023

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Indiana has always been a community-oriented state, and one event that perfectly captures that community spirit is the Wheeler Mission Drumstick Dash. It’s an annual Thanksgiving Day tradition in Indianapolis that combines fitness, fun and generosity of spirit.

For that reason and more, the folks here at Talk to Tucker are thrilled to offer our support for the 2023 Drumstick Dash. We’d like to share with you our enthusiasm along with some important information about the big day ahead.

What’s the Wheeler Mission All About?

For nearly 130 years, Wheeler Mission has been serving those experiencing the struggles of extreme poverty. Homelessness and food insecurity are two of the biggest societal issues people in this nation (and throughout the world) are currently facing. But Wheeler Mission has long been dedicated to helping people from all walks of life overcome these challenges – and they plan to proudly continue to do so as long as is necessary.

With nine different service facilities located throughout Indianapolis and Bloomington, including shelters, donation centers and food banks, many underprivileged people rely on Wheeler Mission and its network of churches for valuable resources. Committed to the principle that nobody should ever be left without a safe and supportive place to go, Wheeler Mission pays no regard to anybody’s race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or belief system when offering assistance.

Wheeler Mission’s Track Record Speaks for Itself

In 2022, Wheeler Mission’s efforts were hugely successful. All the fundraising efforts and hard work from members of the community allowed Wheeler Mission to feed the hungry locals 387,293 meals. Call it a sign of the times, but that is a 22% increase over the previous year and the highest number of meals the Mission has ever served.

In addition, Wheeler Mission’s shelters were able to provide 250,449 nights of shelter and a bed to 13,816 unhoused people, which is 28% more than they did in 2021. The number of first-time guests also increased 10%, representing 3,658 people in need.

That upward tick in the statistics is an indication that more people are struggling with their economic conditions. Organizations like Wheeler Mission continue to be critically important to their well-being. Wheeler Mission is blessed with a multi-million-dollar budget, but every dollar (and more) is desperately needed. Fundraisers are critical to the success of all their objectives, and organization members cannot continue to serve the economically dependent population all by themselves.

And that’s where we get to the Drumstick Dash: It’s Wheeler Mission’s most significant fundraiser of the year, with every dollar raised going right back into the community to benefit the most vulnerable among us.

You’re Invited to “Move Your Feet so Others Can Eat”

Brought to you once again by Huntington Bank, the 21st Annual Wheeler Mission Drumstick Dash will commence sharply at 9:00 AM on Thanksgiving Day, which falls on November 23 this year. 

This year’s pre-race concert, sponsored by Blonde Entertainment, is being provided by Dream Slice. Composed of a tight-knit group of locals who have known each other since they were kids, Dream Slice performs a mix of alternative, rock, funk and R&B. Also, they just recently dropped a self-titled debut EP and have their first album about to be released. If you want a chance to experience this up-and-coming band’s music live, make sure you come early! 

Additional tunes will be provided along the race course by Studio 77 DJs, WFMS, 107.9 The Mix, NTR 107.9, 104.5 WJJK and 99.5 ZPL FM, so racers will have plenty of music to help them keep the beat while keeping their feet on the move.

This year’s edition of the Drumstick Dash gives participants a trio of choices:

  • The “Full Gobbler” course: If you’re full of boundless energy and vigor, this 4.5-mile run/walk may be the perfect challenge.
  • The “Mini Gobbler” course: Covering 2.75 miles, this run/walk is a bit less strenuous.
  • The “Outta Town Dash Around” course: This is a virtual option for folks who can’t make the run/walk in person but still want to participate.

All races launch directly from Broad Ripple at Indianola Ave. and end on Compton St., just north of 62nd. Thanks to Athletic Annex, there will be prizes for the top male and female finishers of The Full Gobbler, the virtual photo contest winner, the top three fundraisers and more.

Registration for each of the events is currently $39 ($34 for children ages 8-12) but the price goes up on November 12 by an additional $3. Anybody waiting until the last couple of days to register will pay additional fees, although children aged 7 and under are always able to participate for free.

There’s Even More You Can Do to Make a Difference in Someone’s Life

You already know that your registration fee goes to a good cause – but you can do even more to help out by participating in additional fundraising efforts. 

When you register, you will be given the ability to create your very own fundraising page, which can be shared with family members, friends, Facebook groups and co-workers to gain their financial support for your efforts. Those who raise $250 or more in donations will automatically qualify for a refund of their own registration fees down to a penny and a special gold bib.

If you want to get even more involved and have the time, make sure you check out the Wheeler Mission Tent inside the Food Court Party Area to learn more about all the volunteer opportunities.

So, choose your distance, make your donation and decide how much you want to raise for the event! This year, the good people of Wheeler Mission have set a goal. They’d like to have 16,000 or so pairs of feet on the ground, doing the Dash. If they meet their goal, they expect to raise nearly $1 million to help fund their work.

Wheeler Mission Offers Help, Hope and Healing to So Many

When someone is suffering and they need a hand, Wheeler Mission is there. While many different charitable organizations are asking for your dollars right now, you can rest assured that every penny raised through the Drumstick Dash goes where it will do the most good. The F.C. Tucker family hopes to see you all there!