By Alicia Dziak

Most people have their own Thanksgiving traditions. Whether that includes a morning hunt in the woods, listening to “Alice’s Restaurant,” going around the table and sharing what you are most thankful for, or just gorging on a delicious turkey dinner with all the fixings, perhaps there’s room for one more. Springville’s 6th annual Gobble for Groceries, hosted by the Trading Post, is happening Thanksgiving morning, and it’s a great chance to give back to the community.

“This is a great family-friendly event that brings the community together,” said Christine Greene, who co-chairs the event with Rick Manzone.

Gobble for Groceries began years ago because a group of local runners, who would attend Buffalo’s busy Turkey Trot, suggested doing something local that benefitted Springville. Gobble for Groceries was born, starting with only about 25 runners that first year, and has grown to include an average of 300-350 participants.

This is a fun, informal race that’s not chip-timed. There is a new race route this year that still begins and ends at the Trading Post, at 38 Franklin Street. The course splits for the 5K and fun walk.

Manzone will DJ the event. Other highlights include Mandy Hintz signing the National Anthem, a post-race party that includes coffee from Tim Horton’s,  a variety of snacks, an auction for a one-year gym membership from Springville Health & Fitness and, of course, a turkey mingling with the crowd for all your race photo opps. Custom-designed t-shirts will also be available for purchase.

“This year, they’ll be long-sleeved and cost $10-$15,” said Greene of the popular shirts.

Prizes will be awarded in a variety of non-traditional, TBD categories.

Instead of a traditional entry fee, racers are asked to bring a cash donation or a bag of non-perishable groceries. Every dollar donated is enough for seven pounds of food to stock the pantry shelves. While no pre-registration is available, the required release form can be printed ahead of time (from their Facebook page) to save time that morning.

Money raised will stay in Springville and go toward the Trading Post, a non-for-profit that provides many services to the community.

“We house a clothing/trading swap, and are one of the WNY Food Bank agencies,” explained Debbie Hintz, director of the Trading Post. “We distribute food to families in need twice a month, we have a mobile food truck that comes once a month (although not in November or December), we have a community kitchen that provides free lunch to the community every Wednesday, and then we have our Giving Tree programs, which include the Christmas Toy Depot, a Backpack Drive and the Baby Love Program, which provides diapers and formula as available.”

Because they offer such a wide range of community services, the Trading Post is always in need of donations and volunteers.

“We are a volunteer-based organization,” said Hintz. “We can always use help in the kitchen, with cleanup, maintenance, washing windows or sorting clothes.”

She added that they can also use volunteers for “fundraising, grant writing and promotions.” Anyone is welcome to volunteer, but those under age 16 are asked to come with an adult.

“People can do as little or as much as they want to do,” Hintz said. If interested in volunteering, call the Trading Post or stop in and fill out an application.

Another way to help is to donate to the Trading Post food pantry. With the holidays coming up, they are looking for donations of turkeys and all the holiday dinner fixings. In addition, non-perishable canned goods, such as peanut butter, soups and tuna, are always needed.

As a way of saying thank you to the community, the Trading Post has planned an all-new event. On Dec. 3, at 6:30 p.m., head to Fiddler’s Green Park for the Christmas Carolcade. The event will be led by local musicians and everyone is welcome to join in on the festive caroling centered around the gazebo.

“There will be a candle lighting for ‘Silent Night’,” Hintz said. “It’s about taking a few minutes to reflect on the season.”

The Trading Post is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more info, call (716) 592-4455.

Visit the Gobble for Groceries Facebook page at

The Trading Post page can be found at

Donate three items to the Trading Post food pantry and receive a 20 percent off coupon at Maurice’s!

If you are a business owner who’d like to get involved,

please contact the Trading Post.