The Northern Nevada Fire Wives will host a Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving morning.
“It’s a great way to start your day,” said organizer Renee Pedrini, “especially if you’re going to eat a big meal.”
But the run, she said, is more than just a good way to burn holiday calories.
“We wan to help firefighters and their families in the event of a tragedy,” she said. “As we get going, we’d also like to help community members devastated by fire.”
The organization was formed in June primarily as a way to help a firefighter friend of the Pedrini family’s who was seriously injured during a motel fire in Houston. Four other firefighters died.
Members involved in the initial fundraiser decided to extend the mission to help local firefighters and their families.
“We thought, ‘What if something like that were to happen here?’,” she said. “What would we do?”
So Pedrini, whose husband, Jon, is a Carson City firefighter currently deployed to Afghanistan with the Nevada Army National Guard, joined with a group of women to expand the organization to help firefighters across Northern Nevada.
“We’ve been contacted by wives all over,” she said.
Although still in its infancy stages, the organization is already helping the families of two firefighters, one a wildland firefighter who has Guillain-Barre syndrome, a potentially deadly muscle disorder. The organization is contributing to his parents’ expenses as they travel from Northern California to spend time with him in the hospital. The organization also is helping the family of a Lake Tahoe firefighter who died from complications from surgery.
Pedrini said they also would like to develop a cache of community resources to help firefighters and fire victims, providing shelter, meals, child care and other services when needed.
Pedrini said that although getting the organization off the ground while caring for her two sons without her husband around has been difficult, she has not done it alone.
“Luckily, the women are very dedicated, and they believe in it,” she said. “No one expected it to go this far.”
Pedrini’s husband and other soldiers will join in the Turkey Trot, running the same distance at the same time in Afghanistan.
She’s hoping the community here supports it as well. It begins 8 a.m. Nov. 28 at Fire Station 51, 777 S. Stewart St. Packet pickup will be from 5-7 p.m. Nov. 26 at Bret Andreas State Farm, 810 N. Nevada St. The run is sponsored by the Fire Wives and Kaia F.I.T., with proceeds going to the Fire Wives of Northern Nevada and Food for Thought.
“Hopefully, we can get families out having a good time for a good cause,” she said.