Manchester: Runners Meet Addiction Recovery Fundraising Goal


You didn’t need to wear a turkey suit to be part of the 2nd Annual Keswick Thanks-For-Giving Turkey Trot 5 Kilometer Run, but it sure wouldn’t hurt.

The event that featured at least 50 participants took place on a chilly morning at the America’s Keswick Activities Center Addiction Recovery facility located in the Whiting section of Manchester. Robert Kenney serves as the director of Partner Care at Keswick in Whiting, which offers an extensive Christian based addiction recovery program.

“This is our second annual turkey trot, and the purpose for it is to raise funds for our addiction recovery ministries, Colony of Mercy, which has been here for 125 years,” said Dr. Bill Welte, the president and chief executive officer of America’s Keswick.

“Our goal with the trot today is to raise $31,000 for addiction recovery. Our program is unique in that our men pay $500 to be here for 120 days. We receive no state or federal funding — what help we do get from the government is food from the food bank in Ocean County. The rest is all raised through private donations.”

The facility sprawls through 650 acres that features a pool and a lake facility. There is also “a retreat center — churches that come and rent the facility for their own conferences and we do all kinds of events.” Additionally, there is a 6-12 – month residential program for women ago called Barbara’s Place.

“Jim Lang is in basically in charge of this event. He was in hotel management before he became addicted to alcohol — now, he is here using his skills to oversee a good portion of our ministry.

“About a third of our staff are graduates of our addiction program. Six of our key leaders are grads of the program. I like to telling people that I have an ex-con, a drug addict and an alcoholic leading the ministry — that is really cool.”

Among those running was Tyler Lehmann of Toms River. “Last year I was a volunteer here but this year I am going to run,” he said prior to the start of the event. “I’ve done four or five 5Ks before. “This is my first time here and I am excited to run and support America’s Keswick,” Kerry Elliott of Brick said as she was warming up in the gym in preparation for the trot.

“I know someone who was received help here and I want to support them.” she added.

A few days later, Robert Kenney told The Manchester Times that the event that “as of today, we received just over $37,000 to support the addiction recovery.”

For more information about the programs offered for addiction recovery at America’s Keswick or their special events, visit;; or call 800-453-7942.

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