By Andrew Kilstrom • Andrew Kilstrom • 

Biggest Turkey contest pulls in $70,000 to be split by four charities

Marcus Larson / News-Register
After performing  Who Let the Dogs Out,  Dawn Vyette Witt of Homeward Bound Pets struts across the Biggest Turkey stage wearing the crown and cape. She raised the most money, winning the Biggest Turkey title.

The  annual Biggest Turkey Contest, one of the most popular events at Turkey Rama, was a huge success on Friday night,

The fundraiser amassed more than $50,000 in 2011 before dropping to $34,175 in 2012. It's safe to say Turkey Rama got back on track this year, raising upward of $70,000, which will be split by the four charities represented by Biggest Turkey candidates.

Dawn Vyette Witt, representing Homeward Bound Pets, won the coveted title of Biggest Turkey for raising the most money.

Sandy Haw, representing Henderson House, took home first place in the  lip sync competition. Her rendition of a Frank Sinatra tune also added $200 to her fundraising total.

Also benefiting from the Biggest Turkey Contest were the See Ya Later Foundation, which was represented by candidate Jeff Yates, and the Willamette Valley Cancer Foundation, represented by Dr. Derek Rains, an orthopedic surgeon.

Now that the Biggest Turkey title has been awarded, Turkey Rama will continue all day Saturday.

Wortman Park will be the scene of the World's Largest Turkey Barbecue from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Turkey dinners will cost $13 for adults, $9 for seniors and $6 for children. Music and other entertainment also is scheduled in the park on Lafayette Avenue in north McMinnville.

Downtown, a pancake breakfast cooked up by the Kiwanis Club will start things off, along with the popular Turkey Trot run and walk. The North Valley Cruzzers car show will fill Third Street with vintage vehicles all day. A new beard and mustache contest will get under way at 4 p.m. at Third and Cowls streets, and a street dance will end the downtown part of the festival Saturday evening.

The Turkey Rama carnival will continue both Saturday and Sunday at Fifth and Baker streets.

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