Turkeys Take Flight provided Thanksgiving meals to those in need in the Immokalee Community.

It’s not every day that hundreds of children and their families pour out onto the pavement at Immokalee Regional Airport.

But it’s not every day that turkeys fly hundreds of feet off the ground, either.

Businesses and organizations such as the Redlands Christian Migrant Association and Rotary Clubs collaborated to provide free turkeys and other Thanksgiving fixings to low-income residents of Immokalee on Saturday.

The twist? The turkeys were flown in on a DC-3 aircraft, which was given a water cannon salute as it taxied to where the families were gathered.

So, yes, turkeys did fly — from Fort Lauderdale, to be specific.

Gloria Padilla, area coordinator for the Redlands Christian Migrant Association, said this was the event’s sixth year. Since Hurricane Irma, Padilla said, some families are still struggling, which makes the event especially important this year. It’s also a way for organizations to “maximize time here to help and have fun.”

“Our families are very thankful,” she said.

The event is the biggest yet, Padilla said, with 300 turkeys provided to families.

To get their turkey, families had to visit at least five of nine stations listed on a card. They could get health screenings, including blood sugar and blood pressure checks courtesy of the Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida; stop by for hurricane assistance information provided by the Immokalee Unmet Needs Coalition; or get information on mental health via Florida State University.

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