Annual turkey roundup Wednesday at pharmacy
Twelve years ago, Mike Hautekeet of Mike’s Pharmacy was sitting around a table during a Rotary family and spouse’s night with an officer from the Salvation Army.
“We were talking about ‘WKRP’s’ turkey drop (television episode) and we all thought, why don’t we do that here?” Hautekeet said Monday. “That’s how it got started.”
Organizers decided against actually dropping turkeys from the air, and have since renamed the annual event a turkey roundup, but the spirit of giving is as strong as ever.
“It’s a very big deal,” he said. “All of Carson City waits for it, and we’ve stayed with it.”
People can bring their turkeys into the store and meet KOH Radio talk-show hosts Ross Mitchell and Monica Jaye during their morning show starting 6 a.m. or from 3-6 p.m. to meet Bill Manders, Hautekeet said.
Runners will haul the frozen birds out to a refrigerated truck which Model Dairy donates, and at 6 p.m., the donations will be tallied, he said.
“People can also call in monetary donations over the phone – we count one turkey for every $5 donated – or they can use the drive-through,” Hautekeet said.
People call in to the dedicated phone line to donate from Reno and Lake Tahoe as well as Carson City, he said.
“The turkeys in this roundup must be dead and frozen. We don’t accept spouses or unruly kids,” he said, laughing.
The following morning, the Salvation Army will come in with a line of cars and take the turkeys out to be distributed.
Hautekeet said the all-time record occurred two or three years ago when 1,500 turkeys were donated. He’s hoping people will open their hearts this year the way they always do in Carson City.
“We have grandmothers come in and grandfathers and kids. There are lots of individuals, which makes it very personal, and we also get donations from the fire department and other groups,” he said.
“It’s a fun thing for us and it’s one way for us to say thank you. It’s an all-day affair, and everything stays in Carson City, so everyone gets their Thanksgiving dinner,” he said. “We’ve gotten so many calls asking when we’re having it. It’s turkey mania around here.”