TROY, NY -- It's a cause the Comiskey family thought would only get the attention of a few. However, this Thanksgiving, they will be running with the support of hundreds for Donna Comiskey, who was a mother and a special education teacher from Lansingburg. She dedicated her life to helping her special education students.
It's been a long running tradition for the Comiskey's for the past 30 years. "I was always the one who woke up saying why are we running a 10k on Thanksgiving morning," Catherine Comiskey explained.
The night before they gather for dinner and Thanksgiving morning it's off to the Turkey Trot. "Participation in the Turkey Trot has always been the center part of our Turkey and Thanksgiving day festivities," explained Bill Comiskey.
It was Donna Comiskey favorite family tradition, combining her love for family and running. But this year, even with a record number of participants, the Comiskey's will be one less without Donna. "Really in our hearts we think she is still here," said Bill.
In February of this year, Donna died after contracting an infection that made her very sick. This Thanksgiving not only is she missed by her three children and husband, but her fellow teachers from Rensselaer Park Elementary School are feeling the loss. "She was always happy and running around busy busy," said Mary Danahy one of Donna's colleagues.
Linda Townsend added, "Her goal for all her special education students was to get them as far as she can."
In order to honor Donna's memory the Comiskeys decided they would continue her favorite tradition and combine it with her goal of helping her students. "I think she would just be tickled if she were here," said Bill.
Donna's daughter who dreaded race day is now Team Donna's biggest cheerleader. So far, she's helped raise more than $7,000 for scholarship funds in Donna's memory. "We're going to honor my mom, make it more meaningful, it'll be a bitter sweet day," she said.
There is still a chance to donate to the cause if you are interested. If you want to join up with Team Donna they'll be meeting at the Daily Grind tomorrow morning before the race starts. You can also send a check to Rensselaer Park Elementary School at 70 110th Street Troy, NY 12182. The check should be made out to the Donna Comiskey Memorial Scholarship Fund. For more information you can call the school at (518) 233-6823