WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — An organization that helps Kansas asked for a bit of help in return on Thanksgiving Day. GraceMed Health Clinic held its largest fundraiser of the year — the annual Thanksgiving Day Say Grace 5K Race.

“We’re a community health center that provides medical, dental and behavioral health care for Wichita and the whole state,” Chad Sanford, GraceMed facilities director, said. “Most of our patients don’t have insurance at all, so it’s a service that’s greatly needed.”

Hundreds of people line up for the start of the 12th Annual Thanksgiving Day Say Grace 5K Race in Wichita on Nov. 24, 2022. The race benefits GraceMed Health Clinic. (KSN Photo)

Sanford did not know how many people showed up Thursday morning, but he said about 1,000 registered for the event. This was the twelfth year for the fundraiser.

The race is Wichita’s largest 5K race. But for some participants, it was more about the fun and putting a smile on other people’s faces.

Tyler and Hunter James dressed as turkeys.

“We come out here every year so that we can support GraceMed in their Say Grace 5K, and we just enjoy dressing up,” Tyler said.

When KSN asked them who came up with the turkey costume idea, they joked about it.

Hunter and Tyler James wore turkey costumes to the 12th Annual Thanksgiving Day Say Grace 5K Race in Wichita on Nov. 24, 2022. (KSN Photo)

“These are legacy outfits,” Tyler said. “Hand-me-downs from generations and generations of turkeys.”

“Turkey people, you know,” Hunter said. “We just wear it every year. Our grandma gives it to us.”

They said they get a lot of looks and comments, but it’s all for fun and supporting GraceMed.

“There’s nothing else we could be doing on Thanksgiving this early in the morning,” Hunter said.

“Making people smile and have fun, making it a little bit more festive,” James agreed. “It’s the holiday. Gotta give thanks, give thanks and make people smile.”

“Have some goodwill to others, you know,” Hunter added.

Sanford said the annual event typically raises around $50,000 for GraceMed Health Clinic.

These are just some of the people who participated in the 12th Annual Thanksgiving Day Say Grace 5K Race in Wichita on Nov. 24, 2022. The race benefits GraceMed Health Clinic. (KSN Photo)

“We appreciate the community for coming out and supporting us,” he said. “To see all the families come, you know. A lot of people have family in from out of town or kids home from college. To see them including this event in part of their Thanksgiving activities, it makes us feel really good.”

The race started at 9:30 a.m. outside the GraceMed Helen Galloway Clinic, 1122 N. Topeka.