The organizers behind the Portland Thanksgiving Day 4 Miler know a thing or two about holiday traditions and lifting children’s spirits.

More than 1,000 runners participate each year in the foot race through the streets of downtown Portland. While the adult course is four miles, the popular kids race is a 1-kilometer course. It’s become an annual fall runners’ reunion and a friendly warmup before all the family gatherings and feasts.

Proceeds from the event are used to help local charities such as Partners for World Health, Portland Trails and others. And this year, the organizers shared $1,000 of those proceeds with the Press Herald Toy Fund, another local institution that brings kids joy at the holidays.

The toy fund’s longtime executive director, Kathleen Meade, said she did not remember ever receiving a donation from the road race. And, she said, the generous gift was very much appreciated as the 72-year-old toy fund sprints to the finish line of its annual fundraising campaign.

Meade said donations continue to flow in, and more are needed, as the toy fund scrambles to get gifts to all the families that asked for help.

Donations from readers of the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, the Sun Journal in Lewiston and The Times Record in Brunswick allow the toy fund to provide gifts to thousands of children in need in York, Cumberland, Sagadahoc, Lincoln, Androscoggin and Knox counties. To help, go to


In loving memory of my husband, Ted Brissette, missing you, Evelyn $150
Paul & Paula Schonewolf $150
In memory of Tyler Hallett, who so loved Christmas, Scott & Jayne (Hallett) Munson $250
In memory of our moms, Kay and Jean $100
Lisa $50
In memory of Clyde and Leone Burnell $50
Missing Tristan … all year round. Love, Susan and Michael $50
George P. Lessard $100
In loving memory of Roman Maxsimic, from Kathy, Tessa and Kara $50
In memory of Harry Burnham, who enjoyed kids and a good time! From Ted Baltas $50
In memory of Rita Baltas, from Ted Baltas $50
In honor of the late lamented, Hank, Ted and Walter $35
In memory of Joanne and Arthur LaRochelle (Nanny & Papa), from your children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren $200
In memory of Bob Barrows, Cheryl Nanos, and Frank & Jane Nanos. Merry Christmas with love, we miss you. Becky & Madison $100
In loving memory of all family members. Cliff & Sherry Colville $200
The Spirit of Christmas! $200
In memory of Ann Rosen, who loved giving to this fund $100
Steve, Fiona and Henry $40
Walter Spencer $100
In loving memory of Rev. & Mrs Robert Haldane Sr., and our beloved Bentley. Merry Christmas! Dave & Cathy $100
In loving memory of our parents Robert & Elizabeth Sawtelle and Daniel & Camilla Bellino, Merry Christmas! Dave & Cathy $100
Peter & Kristen Lemay $50
In memory of Nanny Alice and Nana Joan $200
Anonymous $100
Charles & Gail Mason $100
In loving memory of Arthur & Nancy Gilbert, my Christmas past! Love, Debbie $50
In loving memory of our Christmas Angel, Adrienne Harris. Love, Mom & Dad $50
Anonymous $40
In memory of Joseph E. Poulin $40
Anonymous $500
Merry Christmas! Debbie Henry $50
In memory of my late mother-in-law, Janice Marie Muehle $40
In memory of my mother, Marilyn Marie Heald $40
Anonymous $75
Michael Record $25
In loving memory of my father, David A. Wheatland, from Becky $100
Happy Holiday! Pine State Elevator $500
Janice Brackett $20
A small amount but for a big smile to a child! Sandy and Ed L. $20
In memory of Jeremy, who loved Christmas! Deb G. $100
In memory of Papa/Dad Palombo. Miss you everyday! The Clement Family $100
In honor of Bill and Elise Hunnewell, from John $50
In loving memory of Charlotte & John LaCrosse, from Mimi $100
Anonymous $100
John & Lynda Wilson $100
Thank you for spreading the spirit of the holiday $1,500
Anonymous $50
In honor of Mom & Dad, #2 of the 12 C’s $120
In memory of our generous Uncle Al, from Bernadette Pesce $25
Merry Christmas from Ian & Leslie Leishman $100
In memory of my sisters, Diana, Christine & Carol, from Charlie & Cathy Toppi $50
Anna Cameron $25
Anonymous $100
Anonymous $500
In memory of Joe Bernier $200
The Redhunts $100
In memory of Dan & Josephine DiMatteo, from Daniel DiMatteo $150
In loving memory of Richard O’Leary, from Michael, Mark & Terry $1,706
Stephen Hammond $1,000
Grammy/Gigi XO $100
Merry Christmas to all and to a happy and healthy 2022! Rick & Janet Wolf $50
Barry & Pat Unnold $500
In memory of Judy Curran, Dad, Mom & Randy Mooers, who all made Christmas special! $50
In memory of Buckwheat, Cheetah-bop, Zeus, Murph-the-Surf, Muffin, Sammy, Pugslie & Crouton. Merry Christmas on the rainbow bridge! $50
Portland Thanksgiving Day 4 Miler $1,000
Anonymous $500
Steve, Sue & Charlie $30
In honor of Mr. Dan, who drives Bus 31 in Scarborough, from Amelia and Liam Odlin $50
Anonymous $20
Anonymous $100

TOTAL TO DATE: $173,486.53

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