Tustin hangar fire forces cancellation of Orange County Rescue Mission’s Turkey Trot event

TUSTIN, Calif. (KABC) — A Thanksgiving morning tradition for the last 10 years has been canceled because of fire that destroyed a historic World War II air hangar in Tustin.

“The hangar is actually positioned right on our race course. In fact, we promote it as one of the great things about our race, is that they get to run alongside the historic hangar,” said Kristi Nichols, senior marketing manager for the Orange County Rescue Mission.

The city of Tustin has asked the mission to cancel this year’s Turkey Trot OC 5K over concerns about air quality and road closures following the blaze.

RELATED: Multiple schools reopen as officials continue to assess Tustin hangar fire, debris

Multiple Tustin Unified School District campuses reopened while officials continue their efforts to prepare for the takedown of the remnants of the fire-ravaged World War II blimp hangar.

“It was a very difficult decision to make, and so the decision was taken out of our hands,” Nichols said.

The race helps the mission raise money to provide meals to people in need all year long.

“We can provide one meal for $2.21,” Nichols said. “Our goal was to provide, or to raise the money that would provide 50,000 meals.”

OC Rescue Mission is offering refunds, but they’re asking runners to consider donating their race fees.

“People who are up on Thanksgiving morning are usually pumped and ready to go,” Nichols said. “It’s just a very fun event to be participating with so many people from our community who have come out, really, not only to run in the race but to also support the work that we do here, so we’re disappointed.”

The Orange County Rescue Mission still plans to hold a Thanksgiving Day feast for the people that live there.

They’re also looking at alternative ways to raise the funds that were lost by the cancellation of the Thanksgiving Day Turkey trot.

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