John H. Bannan, “Jack” Sr., was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II and a former P.O.W. having been captured during the Battle of the Bulge. In 1993, after hearing that Foodshare might not make their goal for that year, and having suffered from starvation while a P.O.W., Jack founded the Farmington Valley Turkey Trot, collecting turkeys, all the fixings, and cash donations at Thanksgiving to benefit Foodshare so everyone would have a Thanksgiving dinner to enjoy.
Jack personally solicited donations from local businesses, and recruited the help of family, friends, and neighbors to hold the first turkey trot. As a sixth-grade teacher in the Simsbury Public School System for 32 years, Jack also involved young people to help collect non-perishables and to volunteer their time. He wanted young people to experience the wonderful feeling of helping the less fortunate, and to demonstrate the incredible difference that one person can make. He was determined to do whatever he could to prevent others from experiencing hunger.
In 1987 Jack was named a Simsbury “Home Town Hero” and has been the recipient of numerous awards from many civic, business, and labor organizations in recognition of his contributions to his community and state.
Jack Bannan Sr. died in 2013, he was 89 years old. Jack left behind family and friends, including his Son “Jack” Jr. and wife Tracey, who have both been a part of the Strength in Numbers/BYOB-Fit family for almost a decade.