Run in a timed event on the boardwalk through scenic Asbury Park, Ocean Grove, and Bradley Beach. Then take the Turkey Splash and prove you are Freezin' for a Reason!
The first Thanks4Giving was held in November 2009 at Crystal Lake Beach Club in Oakland, NJ. Known then as the “Thanks4Giving Plunge”, the event featured 75 participants plunging into Crystal Lake and raising $16,000. The plunge was held for a few more years, but due to ongoing lake maintenance, the Thanks4Giving Plunge relocated to Asbury Park in 2015 and has evolved since the move.
With a new home in the iconic shore town Asbury Park, the Thanks4Giving Plunge was a northern New Jersey-beach fundraiser that continued to raise funds and awareness for Special Olympics New Jersey. The plunge continued to grow and raise more money each year and raced to new heights when the Turkey Dash 5K was introduced in 2019. This 5K race is held entirely on the Asbury Park, Ocean Grove, and Bradley Beach boardwalks. In the 2019 inaugural year, 170 participants dashed along the boardwalk and the field nearly doubled in size in 2021, with 330 runners. With the new 5K race and plunge format, the event was rebranded, Thanks4Giving – Turkey Dash & Splash.
Over the years, one thing has remained the same since the first Thanks4Giving Plunge in 2009 – turkey mascot, J. Crackston. J. Crackston was named after a real-life voyager on the Mayflower and never misses Thanks4Giving. If you sign up to Dash or Splash, you will see him cheering you on!
Turkey Dash 5K
Turkey Dash Leaders
Turkey Splash Leaders
How Your Donations Make a Real Impact
For over 50 years, Special Olympics New Jersey has provided year-round sports training, competition, leadership opportunities, and health screenings to more than 22,000 registered athletes and Unified partners. All of these programs and services are completely FREE of charge, thanks to fundraising events like Thanks4Giving. Look below for a glimpse at how these funds are making a real impact!