For Immediate ReleasePress Contact: Ed Galvin, Public Information Officer, (510) 981-5752
POLICE BEGIN HOLIDAY TURKEY BASKET DISTRIBUTION
Berkeley, California (Monday, November 20, 2006) - Tomorrow morning members of the Berkeley Police Department, the Berkeley Boosters, and other volunteers will be assembling and distributing turkey baskets for disadvantaged Berkeley families. Money for the baskets was raised when current and retired Berkeley Officers, one UCPD retired Officer, one Burlingame Fire Captain as well their friends and family rode their bicycles from Berkeley to Lake Tahoe. This year riders collected $10,000 in pledges for their 216-mile ride. This is enough money to purchase 550 baskets total. Half of the baskets will be distributed for Thanksgiving and half will go out for Christmas.
Beat officers nominate deserving families. Basket assembly begins at 6:00 AM in front of the Police Department. Once the baskets are assembled they will be loaded into Police vehicles and distributed to families throughout Berkeley.
The idea of the ride was conceived in 1983 when three Berkeley officers rode their bicycles from Berkeley to South Lake Tahoe. During the trip they talked about how to develop a community service project and involve other officers. They decided that they would create a ride to raise money for a holiday gift basket program. In 1985 the Inaugural Turkey Ride took place when seven Berkeley Police Officers rode their bicycles from Berkeley to Lake Tahoe in 2 ½ days.
Lt. Bruce Agnew, one of the ride creators said, “The best part for me is seeing officers participate in the ride for the first time and socialize with veteran and supervisory officers. It’s also gratifying to give turkey baskets to people who are appreciative of the food that makes it possible for them to have a nice holiday meal.“ Lt. Agnew has participated in all 22 Turkey Rides.