Haverhill Kiwanis ‘Turkey Drop’ Saturday Inspired by 1970s TV Show

Kiwanian Thomas O. Faulkner is well dressed for a Thanksgiving turkey drop. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Haverhill Kiwanian Thomas O. Faulkner helped shepherd the falling rubber turkeys last year. (WHAV News photograph.)

Haverhill Kiwanis is again having its Turkey Drop fundraiser Saturday, inspired by a 1978 Thanksgiving episode of the television series “WKRP in Cincinnati.”

The second annual Turkey Drop fundraiser takes place at 1 p.m., at Murphy’s Garrison Golf, 654 Hilldale Ave. Kiwanian Rich Porcelli recites one of the famous lines from the show.

“How can you not love that scene when Gordon Jump comes out of his office and says, ‘As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly?’” he asks.

Weather permitting, 100 rubber turkeys will be dropped from a helicopter onto a grid of 400 squares marked with random numbers. Porcelli has trouble containing his enthusiasm. “It’s just great seeing a hundred rubber turkeys flying through the air, coming out of a helicopter.”

He explains how it works. “There is a grid on the ground, done up on a couple of blue tarps. Each square on the tarp is numbered and that number corresponds to your ticket number. For every turkey that lands in your square, you get a prize. Prizes range from a couple of pies from Mann’s Orchard, some gift cards from Mann’s Orchard, Dunkin Donuts gift cards all the way up to—this year we have—10 frozen 22-pound turkeys to give away.”

Local charities are supported.

“All of this money stays local. The big thing last year, we have a couple of scholarships we doubled the amount on. One is trades person of the year. It’s done through Whittier Tech. We doubled that to a thousand dollars. We have the Dave Mullen Scholarship, we doubled that. Something else we do every year is we honor the top 5 percent of Haverhill graduates with a dinner. This year, this past year and hopefully moving forward, the cost is coming down for the parents to be at that,” Porcelli said.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online via the Kiwanis website or at Haverhill Bank, EZ-Way Cleaners and other locations.

During the television show, here is how newscaster Les Nessman covered the fiasco:

“Oh my god, they’re turkeys. Johnny, can you get this? They’re crashing to the Earth right in front of our eyes. One just went through the windshield of a parked car. This is trouble. Everyone is running around pushing each other. Oh my goodness. Oh, the humanity.”