‘Oh, the Humanity!’ Kiwanis Club of Haverhill’s Annual Turkey Drop Tomorrow, Nov. 13

WKRP news reporter Les Nessman, played by Richard Sanders, reports on the turkey drop.

For the sixth year in a row, the Kiwanis Club of Haverhill is having its Annual Turkey Drop tomorrow (Saturday, Nov. 13) afternoon to support local charities.

Inspired by what would become a legendary 1978 Thanksgiving episode of the television show “WKRP in Cincinnati,” 100 rubber turkeys will fall from a helicopter over 400 sponsored squares at Murphy’s Garrison Golf, 654 Hilldale Ave., Haverhill. For $10, community members may purchase a ticket with a number that corresponds to a square on a landing grid. For every rubber turkey that lands in that square, the ticket holder wins a prize. It is expected to go smoother than the television chapter called “Turkeys Away,” when WKRP newsman Les Nessman reported the turkey drop.

“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.”

Kiwanian Rich Porcelli told WHAV the helicopter arrives about 2:15 p.m. and a limited number of tickets will be sold beforehand. Turkeys are dropped by Boston Helicopter out of Lawrence.

“He only flies at about 60-70 feet and they drop them out. They move around a little bit. He has a guy with him that drops them out of the helicopter and they talk and they drop them out and spread them out over the mat. Any that don’t end up on the mat, we have a guy in a turkey suit that runs up after the helicopter leaves, and we get clearance to go back in, he’ll up and take the turkeys and turn his back to the mat and just throw it up over his shoulder and get them on. So, all 100 turkeys pay off,” Porcelli said.

Porcelli, who works at Whittier Regional Vocational High School, said members of the school’s Key Club will be on hand.

“Some of the students will come up and help us spread the tarp, help us pick up the turkeys at the end, write down the numbers of the squares that have turkeys in them and the numbers on the turkey. Each turkey is numbered, it has a corresponding prize with it, so if you get square 192 and turkey 23 drops in your square, then you get whatever prize is attached,” he explained.

No turkeys will be harmed during the stunt, unlike the remorse expressed by WKRP General Manager Arthur Carlson during the fictitious television episode. “As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.”

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