ROANOKE, Va (WFXR) — Another Rescue Mission “Drumstick Dash” has come and gone and by now hopefully, all the dashers are filled up with delicious food and enjoying Thanksgiving with their loved ones. Rescue Mission CEO Lee Clark says this year’s race was a huge success.

“You know the first year we did it– people told us, oh you know Thanksgiving morning you might get 250 people out to run or walk on a Thanksgiving morning. this year we’re going to have more than 8,000 people out to run or walk so it’s amazing, we’re so grateful” said Clark.

The “Drumstick Dash” is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Rescue Mission– Roanoke mayor Sherman Lea says it is inspiring to see the community come out to show their support.

“The rescue mission does a great job, and they are a tremendous partner with this city, and I am just so overwhelmed with the turnout and coming out and people come out every year for this and it looks like it gets bigger and better each year,” said Lea.

Rescue Mission officials say the money raised from the “Drumstick Dash” goes towards providing three meals a day to people in the community facing food insecurity.

“This year we’ll provide 140,000 meals just in our dining room alone, another 12,000 food boxes given out to feed hungry families each year, so the impact on families and individuals is huge,” said Clark.

But “Drumstick Dash” event manager Kevin Berry says at the Rescue Mission a meal is so much more than just food.

“And those meals are really not just nourishments for our guests, but those meals are opportunities for us to connect with those guests and get them services they need,” said Berry.

If you missed the in-person race- you can still participate in the “Drumstick Dash” virtual race until November 30th and Rescue Mission officials say they are always welcoming new volunteers to the program.