Thanksgiving Day Tony’s Turkey Trot kicks off with Pete’s Bar after party

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The 7th annual Tony’s Turkey Trot for Brain Injury Awareness kicked off on Thanksgiving morning at the Beaches Town Center.

This year the run is in honor of the late UF Health Jacksonville Dr. Leon Haley Jr.

“It’s Thanksgiving. Got to enjoy the whole day and I like to get a run in before I eat a bunch of food,” Fawn Auge said.

“I’m so excited! Happy Thanksgiving! It’s for a great cause and this will be amazing today,” Tony Sartini said.

“Being out here and we see a lot of faces and fun costumes. Yes, it’s fun to start Thanksgiving that way,” Shelly Sharp said.

Action News Jax told you when Dr. Haley tragically lost his life in a jet ski accident earlier this year.

“He was always able to make us laugh at 5::00 a.m. and make it feel like it was a good thing to work out. We miss him very much,” Kammi Killeen, a friend of Dr. Haley said.

Back in 2020, UF Health Jacksonville began co-hosting the event with the Tony Meduri TBI fund to benefit brain injury awareness. The money raised helps fund brain injury care at UF Health.

In addition to the turkey trot, Pete’s Bar Thanksgiving a local tradition is also back after being canceled last year because of Covid.

The cash-only bar mixes up bloody marys, screwdrivers, mimosas, and more.

It’s been around for at least 4 decades.

“We did miss Pete’s last year during the pandemic and I think that’s something that everybody looks forward to year after year so we’ll probably stick around for one beer and then behave ourselves and go meet up with family,” Micheal Sharp said.

Dr. Haley participated in the turkey trot in previous years and even spoke and handed out medals at the finish line.

In his honor, Atlantic Beach has even proclaimed today Dr. Leon Haley Jr. Day in his memory.

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