Turkey Trot slated Thursday

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A Thanksgiving Day fun run will help burn calories as well as raise funds for a cause.

The Blue Mountain Chapter of the American Red Cross will host its second annual Blue Mountain Turkey Trot on Thursday.

Early registration has closed, but those who haven't yet signed up can still get their tail to the starting line.

The morning's registration for the 5-mile run or 1-mile walk begins at 7:30 a.m. at Pioneer Park. The run/walk starts at 8 a.m. near the bandstand. The cost is $20.

Proceeds benefit the chapter's efforts to help local people in need. The run will start and end at Pioneer Park.

Terry Hackney, director of the Blue Mountain Chapter, said 300 people have already registered. "If (anybody's) worried about being cold there's going to be lots of bodies out there warming things up," he said. Call 525-7380 or register and pay online at www.bmcredcross.org.

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Events that attract visitors to Walla Walla will get a financial boost from the local tourism agency.

Tourism Walla Walla has awarded $12,000 in 2011 matching-fund grants to seven organizations. The money will assist them in initiating and broadening tourism marketing efforts, said an announcement.

Recipients and amounts are: Downtown Walla Walla Foundation, $4,000 to support Feast Walla Walla, Wheelin' Walla Walla Weekend and the production of a Wine and Dine Guide; Daily Market Cooperative, $500 to support a new Farm Open House Tour; Kirkman House Museum, $2,000 to support a new Sweet Home Walla Walla Barn Tour and the Sweet Home Walla Walla Historic Home Tour; Tour of Walla Walla, $500; Shakespeare Un'corked, $3,000; Walla Walla Chamber Music Festival, $2,000; and the Walla Walla Quilt Festival, $500.

"Walla Walla's amazing variety of seasonal activities, abundant natural resources, museums and cultural institutions make it one of the most attractive vacation destinations in the state of Washington," said Tourism Walla Walla board Chairwoman Michele Rennie in a prepared statement.

"Our cooperative efforts with local organizations will produce new marketing dollars designed specifically to encourage travelers to explore all that Walla Walla has to offer."

The matching funds can be used for advertising, production of tourism-related brochures and research initiatives.

Strictly Business is a local business column. Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at vickihillhouse@wwub.com or 509-526-8321.

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