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City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Jennifer Louis, Sgt, (510) 981-5717

Police to Deliver Hundreds of Holiday Meals

Berkeley, California (Monday, November 23, 2009) - On Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 6:00 am, members of the Berkeley Police Department (BPD), Berkeley Boosters Association, University of California Police Department (UCPD), and community members will gather in front of Old City Hall to Continue a 25 year-old tradition.

Community members, including BPD and UCPD personnel, the Berkeley Boosters, and many others, will assemble 250 food baskets for distribution by uniformed BPD and Parking Enforcement officers.  Each basket will contain a turkey, fresh produce, and enough canned and packaged food to feed approximately 8 people.  A second lot of 250 baskets will be assembled and distributed just before the Christmas Holiday, tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, December 23rd.

In this year's "Turkey Ride," twenty BPD and UCPD officers rode over 200 miles and raised over $10,000 in pledges to hlep fill the turkey baskets for community members in need.

The Turkey Ride was conceived in 1983 when three BPD officers rode their bikes from Berkeley to South Lake Tahoe.  During their journey, those original riders conceived the idea to use future rides as a fund-raising activity, as a means to help struggling Berkeley families during the holiday season.  This year for the first time, riders traveled  a different route, going South rather than North.  This year's team pedaled over 200 miles, from the Bay Area to Cambria, on the central coast.  As in the past, Turkey riders received invaluable support from a dedicated team composed of other police employees, family members and members of the Berkeley Booster Association.

In spite of the officers' extensive fundraising, the goals of this program could not have been met without the long-time support of Safeway, which donates the majority of the turkeys, the Berkeley Rotary Club, which contributes generous financial support, Greenleaf Produce, and the Alameda County Food Bank (both of whom donate additional food for the baskets).

The Turkey Riders and the event organizers would like to thank Safeway, the Berkeley Rotary Club, Greenleaf Produce, and the Alameda County Food Bank for their generous support and donations.     



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