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The Mattoon Area Family YMCA will offer Thanksgiving morning events to show thanks to our community and to bring community members together to celebrate healthy living. The Mattoon Y’s annual Early Bird Thanksgiving Day Event will be held from 7-9 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 23. Along with Early Bird, the Bare Bones Turkey Trot will take place at 6 a.m.

Bare Bones Turkey Trot follows a five mile path, beginning at the Mattoon YMCA. The highlight of this run is a trip through the Lightworks display at Peterson Park. Bare Bones means "no frills." This is not a timed run but it is a great way to start your day. With the early start time of 6 a.m., participants will still have time to drop into a class or two during the Early Bird event.

The fee for the Bare Bones Turkey Trot is $25. Due to the early start time, we will not offer same day registration. To register, please give the Mattoon YMCA a call at 217-234-9494 or stop in at 221 N. 16th Street, Mattoon. Online registration is also available at www.mattoonymca.org.

Early Bird will be another opportunity to burn calories before your big holiday meal. It also gives friends and families a chance to connect on this day of thanks. Early Bird will offer several fitness classes, open swim, dodgeball for the kids and child watch for the youngest of family members.

The class schedule for Early Bird is the following: At 7:15 a.m. choose from cardio kickboxing, PiYo, BODYPUMP, Cycling or SYNRGY360/TRX. At 8:15 a.m. the line-up of classes include Z Dance Fit (formerly our Zumba program), Yoga, HIIT, Cycling and another SNRGY360/TRX class.

If group fitness is not your preferred form of exercise visit our walking track, workout in our wellness center, or swim laps in our pool. Early Bird is a free event for our Y members while we invite non-members to join us for $3/person. Early Bird is a great activity to bring out-of-town guests.

While attending the Thanksgiving Day events, consider supporting our community by selecting an angel from the Senior Angel Tree. This tree represents approximately 100 seniors living in Coles County nursing homes. By selecting an angel you will offer a little cheer for these seniors during their annual Christmas parties at the nursing homes. We do ask that all angel gifts be returned to the YMCA by Dec. 8 so YMCA staff may deliver the gifts before Christmas.

Another opportunity to give back is with the Mattoon YMCA’s November food drive. Throughout the month of November, the Y will collect canned food items which will be donated to the Mattoon Food Center in the month of December. As a thank you for donations, we will waive the joining fee on any new or renewed membership in the month of November.

At 9 a.m. Thanksgiving day, the Mattoon Y will close to allow staff time with their families and friends. The Y will reopen on Friday, Nov. 24 at 5 a.m. On Black Friday the YMCA will offer the Dynamite Days Out program for youth ages 5 to 12. This is a great opportunity for parents to shop, work or rest knowing their kids are having fun and with caring Y staff. To learn more about Dynamite Days Out, please call the Mattoon Y at 217-234-9494.

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